About Allen Duke
It may sound like just an old cliché, but to know Allen was to love Allen. He was the kind of person anyone instantly liked the first time they met him. Folks knew him as fun loving, caring, compassionate, sensitive in nature with an infectious laugh and great sense of humor that made people enjoy being around him. It was only two days after his 23rd birthday when Allen was struck and killed by an SUV while walking to work on Main Street as he usually did. He wasn’t doing anything stupid or foolish or dangerous that beautiful day in Durango. He was simply walking on the sidewalk where his parents had always told him he’d be safe. Unfortunately, nobody is safe when a Chevy Suburban unexpectedly leaves the roadway and plows into you.
Allen was born March 16, 1994 in Tracy, California as the youngest of identical twins. In October of 1998 he moved to Colorado with his family (dad Brian, mom Emi, sister Brianna and twin brother Evan) and temporarily made Highlands Ranch his home. After moving to Parker the next year when their new house was completed, Allen attended Cherokee Trail Elementary and Sierra Middle School before graduating from Chaparral High in the Class of 2012. He chose Fort Lewis College after touring the campus and falling in love with the Durango area. Allen always enjoyed the beauty of nature and hiking trails in the Colorado mountains, so this was the perfect fit for him to study business. He found out he automatically met school requirements for International Business after traveling to Taiwan and staying with a family friend at their home in Changhua for three weeks, so Allen decided to switch majors. His life plans came together sometime in his sophomore year when he discovered he “had the knack for numbers” and switched majors again even though he’d need an extra year of tough bookkeeping and auditing courses. Sadly, Allen Duke was only five weeks from graduating with an Accounting degree at FLC when he died. He had such a bright future and the whole world ahead of him.
The Allen Duke Memorial Foundation was established to honor Allen’s short life and carry on his memory by helping others as he did without seeking recognition or compensation for work. We are committed to picking up where Allen left off so his death will not mean the end of his legacy.
If You Knew Allen…
(Quotes from Allen’s friends)
“I just wanted you and your family to know that I give Allen all the credit for me getting into the Interior Design Program @ NDSU. As happy and proud as I am of the time I put into my projects, Allen was the real driving force and motivation. After I heard about Allen’s death, I completely shut down and was so emotionally torn to shreds. I was a wreck in class, cried off and on and had trouble concentrating or eating. I really considered not going through with my review to get into this program. I was honestly a huge mess. But after going to Denver for Allen’s Memorial, I came back and knew he was always with me and he was kicking my butt every step of the way to get my portfolio done. I had to write an essay portion so I wrote it on a quote Allen told me at camp during a deep heart-to-heart conversation. He said ‘You’re always learning, it shapes who you are, how you are and what you are, and you’re learning something new every day. And the day you stop learning is the day you die.’
I cited Allen in my essay and the head of the department sent me a message saying she was very touched by the presence of Allen in my paper and felt like she knew him without ever meeting him. I just wanted you to know, I couldn’t have done this without Allen. He was and is my motivation to succeed and I’m so proud that I got to know this incredible human. He’s really the moving force for me and it was his words that kept me going. Thank you. All the credit goes to your son. I knew Allen would have been upset if I had dropped everything I’d worked for, he would have never forgiven me for it. I know he wanted the best for me. He always deeply cared like that about everyone.”
“I’m not actually a very share-and-care type of person, and I don’t make a habit of posting my inner most thoughts on social media. Nobody wants to hear that anybody is perfect, because it sounds like a load of crap when you say it about someone who recently passed away, but Allen was perfect to me. I’m not an easy person to get to know and I’m extremely introverted. The first time I met Allen was in the cafeteria at FLC when he literally just plopped down in the seat next to me and started having this conversation about pencils (of all things?? Haha). And Allen was just magical – he makes you feel like you’re the only person that exists when he talks to you. It’s like everyone else is just a small splash and Allen comes along like a tidal wave, and he doesn’t even KNOW that he has that effect on people.
I miss Allen too, more than I probably should. Which is a very strange thing for me because, like I said before, I don’t find myself connecting much with a lot of people. He was unbelievably special. My heart breaks for you and your family.”
“I just wanted to offer my condolences to you and your family. Your son Allen was the first person I met at FLC, we were seated by each other at Freshman Convocation. I just remember him being super inviting and he made me feel comfortable in a really uneasy time. It was scary for me to move off to college– where I didn’t know a single person.
I sat with him at breakfast and we hung out from time to time in the union, mostly in our first year of college. But I’d seen him around and talked casually to him all through school; he was so warm and friendly. I graduated in May of 2016, as our student body president. I wasn’t able to attend his memorial. But I’ve thought about him a lot, since the accident.You raised a kind, gentle human that made the world a better place, at least my world– during a very formative time in my life. I am sorry for your family’s loss, and we are all deeply saddened. And I hope your family is healing.
My heart goes out to you all.”