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Longtime F.C. Resident Richard Allan Dies

Richard T. Allan, Jr. (Courtesy Photo)
Richard T. Allan, Jr. (Courtesy Photo)

Richard T. Allan, Jr., longtime and beloved resident of the City of Falls Church and a bedrock supporter of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library in Falls Church, died on his 94th birthday while in Hospice care at Goodwin House of Bailey’s Crossroads. The cause of death was complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Allan was born in Battle Creek, Mich. on Oct. 9, 1921. Despite a difficult childhood, he thrived in school, earning a BA in Honors Classics and an MA in Cultural Geography from the University of Michigan.

Service in the U.S. Army Air Force brought him to the Western Pacific as a weather forecaster for military operations during WW II and then 2 years of deployment in occupied Japan. He later returned to Japan for 4 years working with U.S. Army Intelligence during the Korean War. It was during this latter period of Japan residency when he met Betty E. Allan, his wife of close to 60 years, while she was doing work for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Back in the U.S. he decided that work in the intelligence realm was far more exciting than being an academic, and was hired by the CIA as an intelligence analyst. Mr. Allan had two distinguished, multi-decade careers: as a CIA Analyst and Executive, and as a volunteer overseeing used book sales at the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. In 1977, at the age of 55, he retired from the CIA as Director of Basic and Geographic Intelligence, receiving the CIA Meritorious Service Medal.

As a library volunteer, Allan raised well over a quarter million dollars for the Library’s general fund through his organization of the daily used book sales and his skill at identifying rare and valuable books found within the book donations. He was a familiar and friendly figure at the Library until his second retirement at the age of 92.

Mr. Allan was an active supporter and board member of several Falls Church service organizations, including the Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Affordable Housing Committee, Village Preservation and Improvement Society, and the local branch of the American Field Service. He was well known as a kind and modest but deeply intellectual gentleman who engendered great affection and devotion in 48 years of residence in Falls Church and 12 years of residence at Goodwin House.

He leaves behind his beloved wife Betty of Goodwin House, son James F. Allan (Kathy) of Falls Church, son Christian P. Allan (Sara) of Raleigh, NC, daughter Susan E. Allan-Burnett (Bob) of Washington, D.C., and 6 grandchildren (Lindsay, Thomas, Jordan, Jenna, Sam, and Charlie). In lieu of flowers, friends may consider donating either to the Mary Riley Styles Public Library (120 N Virginia Ave, Falls Church) or to Goodwin House West (3440 South Jefferson St., Falls Church).