Daniel Spencer Allan

Born: July 12, 1940
Died: July 24, 2018

Dan died in July after a two-year battle with metastatic prostate cancer and remained cheerful to the end.

Born in Detroit, he grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, and was the valedictorian of the Class of 1958 at Rochester High School. At Yale, he was on the Dean’s List as a physics major and sang in the Yale Freshman Glee Club, the Apollo Glee Club, the Yale Glee Club and the O’s and B’s. He was a member of Calhoun and worked at W1YU. His roommates were: A.S.Mantia, J.R.Merrick, F.W.Wilbur and J.R. Reinhart (’63).

After an M.S. in Semiconductor Physics at Purdue, his first “dream job” was the night-shift operator at the school’s new mainframe computer, the massive IBM 7090. Two more dream jobs followed – a summer job at Los Alamos working with nucleonic systems and then a permanent position at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, where he helped develop NASA’s Deep Space Network, used to communicate with astronauts and satellites exploring the solar system and beyond. After earning an M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford, he spent 30 years at the Stanford Research Institute as a telecommunications consultant, playing a key role in developing Kuwait’s telecommunications system as well as the statewide telecommunications system for Alaska.

For both work and pleasure he traveled through much of Europe, the Middle East, South America and Australia.

Although Dan considered himself a true engineer in terms of his stubbornness and ingenuity, his passions included cooking, wine, the outdoors and music. His love of music and performance continued with membership in the Yale Alumni Chorus, and lead roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with the Stanford Savoyards.

From his obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Dan was a true character and will be remembered by all who knew him for his tall tales, outrageous stories, and countless 25 cent bets over dubious claims. He delighted in absurdity, often pointing it out with mock sternness: ‘Now wait just a minute…’, and indulgent drawl ‘You guys…’, or best of all, with his wonderful hearty laugh. He took pride in being the loudest, most embarrassing dad on the sidelines of his children’s childhood sports games, and he taught them how to spot BS from a mile, which backfired on him beautifully and often.

(I recommend looking at his lengthy and witty entry in our 25th reunion book, followed up by his entry in the 50th reunion book!)

Dan is survived by his wife of over 35 years, Elizabeth, son Timothy, daughter Nora, sister Catherine and brother Andrew – as well as his niece, nephews, cousins and their children scattered widely through the West and around the globe.

John Harger Stewart