Celebrating the life of Paul Allen

Paul was a truly amazing man.  In life, he always stood out as a calm, efficient man.  Eloquent, soft spoken, not one for hanging around, he preferred to get to work.  He was extremely well educated, yet never made anyone feel inferior. Paul leaves behind a lifetime legacy of pursuing social justice, university education, and active efforts to help others to be more human. He received his Ph.D at the Aquinas Institute, and inspired countless students through his teaching of issues of social justice, liberation theology, and the ethics of world religions in his long career at Loras College (1964-2005) in Dubuque, IA.  He had traveled the world in his focus to help others.  After retiring from teaching, Paul continued his efforts to serve, learn, and inspire.  One of the places he chose to work was with Humility of Mary.   His example as a volunteer is an inspiration for us all.

According to his wife Billie, (also a long-time supporter and volunteer with HHSI), Paul followed his ideals into adventure and, at times, into danger and sorrow; he combined practical labor with his deeply held principles; his convictions and his actions inspired others; and he did all of this with great joy and great humor, identifying his own greatest achievement as “never stopping being 10 years old.” He delighted in The Three Stooges and corny jokes, played goofy tricks on family and friends, and teased everyone who could take it. He played the piano and harmonica, sang well, and told great stories around many campfires. Paul was a gardener, a fixer-upper, and a great fan of walks in the woods or along the railroad tracks. He ice-skated well, and played center on the hockey team while he attended Catholic University. He consumed little and wasted nothing. He enjoyed inexpensive beer and deep conversation. He was an optimist and a realist, and he always sought ways to be more human, as well as helping others to find their own way.

For Terry and Joe, members of our HHSI property management team, Paul was always someone they could count on.  He was punctual, practical and skilled.  He spent at least 1 day a week, helping keep our apartments in good shape for our participants.  Terry said, “He always took the time to listen. He was a man of great wisdom, he never looked down on anyone.  He was serious and focused and he didn’t like to waste time—just get the work done.” 

“He was like a brother to me, like a father to me,” said Joe.  “When we went to see him that last time, he talked about life not death.  He told us we were his friends.”  

All of us at HHSI counted Paul as our friend too.  He is missed.