Kip Allen, officially Ward Christopher Allen, passed away on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Mildred Small Allen Ries and father Ward Phillips Allen.
Kip is survived by his wife of 56 years, Roxanne, son Jesse and daughter-in-law Irene, grandchildren: Ryan, Genevieve all of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, sisters: Judy Charlick of Cleveland, Ohio, Jeannie Allen of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Deborah Allen of Cambridge, Massachusetts and their families, as well as countless friends.
Kip loved music above all things except his wife Roxanne and son Jesse. He was born in Virginia to a musical family on February 2, 1945. He is best known for his work at radio station KHFM. Making classical music welcoming to everyone was his great passion and, as he said, his great privilege. He shared music with joy and delight, taking his place at the microphone early each weekday, dressed in jacket and tie as a gesture of respect for his audience. His message on the air and off was always one of social justice, love, and profound connection with the world. The morning bird songs he played daily became a local tradition.
Previously he was part of the theater departments of the University of Albuquerque and UNM and was a successful actor. The highlight of that career was his role as Scrooge in a touring company of “A Christmas Carol.” Kip graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in English and received his Master of Fine Arts in Theater from the University of California, Davis. He did alternate service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and with careful searching and a magnifying glass can be found in the PBS documentary “Eyes on the Prize,” sitting in the branches of a tree to get a better view of the Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech. In retirement he devoted himself to helping his friends and neighbors, and doing woodworking in his garage.
All who knew him describe him as a treasure: loving and kind, gracious and generous, theatrical, and wonderfully funny. He faced his more than two decades of living with Parkinson’s Disease with humor and courage, refusing to let it define him as a person.
May the birds sing him to his well-deserved rest.
Kip’s wish was for us to have a party. We will have music, stories, conversation, light food and a cash bar. His life celebration will be held on Monday, June 12, 2023, 6:00 to 8:00 PM, with conversation & music until 9:00 PM located at National Hispanic Cultural Center, Fountain Courtyard, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
There will be opportunities for guests to share brief remarks about Kip. We will also have books for guests to write in, or you may bring anything written to tuck into one of the guest books.
We hope you will join us! R.S.V.P. to: Jeannie Allen - firstname.lastname@example.org
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