Thomas J. Allen, 69, died Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, at Hope Hospice of Cape Coral.
He was born in Boston Nov. 21, 1940, to John T. and Anita (Lampro) Allen, now deceased, and grew up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He joined the Air Force in 1960, and served his tour of duty in Labrador. Upon discharge in 1964, he enrolled at the University of Maine, earning a bachelor's degree in entomology and a masters in wildlife management. For 32 years he served as a wildlife research biologist for the West Virgina Division of Natural Resources and became an expert in radio telemetry. His lifelong passion for Lepidoptera led him to research, write and publish two popular field guides on butterflies.
In 2003 he retired and relocated to Cape Coral, but remained active with many endeavors, including working with Florida Fish & Wildlife on the burrowing owl study, teaching at Edison College and writing a regular column for Birds & Blooms magazine.
He was a nationally recognized wildlife artist, a gifted photographer, an avid native plant gardener and beekeeper and a fossil hunter and collector. He was a dedicated conservationist who loved to share his knowledge, speaking to diverse groups in many venues.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sandy; three daughters, Rebecca J. Allen of Chapel Hill, N.C., Elizabeth J. (Glynn) Capell of Bluffton, S.C., and Jennifer L. (Kenneth) Collins of Pendleton, S.C.; a son, Thomas J. (Ellamae) Allen of Seattle, Wash.; a stepdaughter, Erin E. Guyer of Atlanta; 10 grandchildren; two brothers, twin James E. (Ann) of N. Attleboro, Mass., and Steve of Carmel, Maine; a sister, Nancy L. of West Bend, Wis.; and a nephew and several nieces.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 14, at 2:30 p.m., in the chapel of Coral Ridge Funeral Home, 1630 S.W. Pine Island Rd., Cape Coral.
Interment will be at a later date in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Southern Pines, N.C.
Contributions in Tom's memory may be made to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, P.O. Box 152761, Cape Coral, FL 33915, or to Hope Hospice of Cape Coral.