Born in Chicago, Illinois on June 23, 1932, he was the eldest child of Allen (Sr) and Alice (Connor) Vander Meulen of Chicago.
The grandson of Irish and Dutch immigrants, Allen grew up in South Chicago. He graduated from Fenger High School in 1950. His youth was a happy time, despite the challenges his family faced as he and his siblings were born and raised during the Great Depression and World War II. global. He graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in Economics (1954); and Yale Divinity School (1958).
Allen was minister of the Third Congregational Church in Waterbury, CT 1958-63, where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Overbaugh, and was married on August 29, 1959. Their children Allen III and David were born there; her daughter Ruth was born in Vermont.
Allen’s gifts as a teacher, mentor and administrator have been greatly appreciated. He had a strong will to defend the interests of those who had no voice; and to seek justice and opportunity for those who had none. Shortly after moving to Vermont, he joined other ministers from the region in traveling to Washington DC and standing in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of others from across the country to hear the famous “I Have a Dream “by Martin Luther King.
Allen became a minister at the Center Congregational Church in Brattleboro, VT in 1963. He left in 1968, serving as an interim minister in Massachusetts and Vermont while attending school, earning a doctorate in economics from Brown University in 1974.
In 1973, he became an associate professor of economics at the University of Wyoming at Laramie. He also ran the school’s extension program at Casper.
In 1978, Allen joined North Central College in Naperville, Ill., As a professor of economics. He oversaw the school’s new “Weekend College” and helped establish what is now their computer science department. He also helped establish the school’s MBA program. Years later he also taught business ethics.
Upon retiring in 1997, Allen and Dorothy returned to Brattleboro. There he served as chair of the Center Church endowment committee, administrator of the city library, and participated in several other organizations. He enjoyed family, traveling, cycling, taking long walks and conversing about philosophy, ethics or politics. Allen and Dorothy moved to Lincoln, MA at the end of 2019.
Allen was predeceased by his parents and sister Eva. He is survived by his wife Dorothy; son Allen III and wife Stephanie of Lincoln, MA; son David and wife Julie of Aurora, IL; her daughter Ruth and her husband Tim of Rockford, IL; brother Ross and wife Kay of Galesburg, IL; brother-in-law Robert Overbaugh and his wife Nancy of Westford, MA; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Allen’s grandchildren are Elizabeth Anne Vander Meulen, Aaron Taylor, Joshua Taylor and Allen Vander Meulen IV.
There was a private memorial service at Dee Funeral Home in Concord, MA. A celebration of his life will take place at the Center Congregational Church in the spring of 2022.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory at Center Congregational Church (centrechurchvermont.org), Brown University (brown.edu), Yale Divinity School (deity.yale.edu), or the Alzheimer Association (alz.org).
To share a memory or offer condolences in his online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.
Posted by Naperville Sun on Nov 28, 2021.