Obituary for Rollin Arrel Allen - East Idaho News
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Rollin Arrel Allen

February 17th, 1937 - January 14th, 2023

Rollin Arrel Allen, 85, was born in Seattle, Washington on February 17, 1937, and passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on January 14, 2023. He was the third of seven children born to Rollin Lyman and Helen Miskin Allen.

Arrel spent his childhood in Southeast Idaho where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the BSA. At the age of 17 he joined the Army and was stationed in Fukuoka Japan with an Army Anti-aircraft unit. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Eastern Canada. After his mission, Arrel worked at Jacob Lake, Arizona (a tourist stop near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon) where he met Marcia Lusty. They both attended BYU Provo and were married October 15, 1959 in the Salt Lake Temple.

Arrel & Marcia’s first two children were born in Provo. Arrel worked various jobs as they attended BYU. Their third child was born in Blackfoot where Arrel began teaching at Blackfoot High School on a provisional certificate. The entire family would return to Provo for several summers in order for Arrel to obtain his bachelor’s degree in Speech, Debate, and Drama, with a minor in Vocal Music. He then went on to teach at Madison High School, and their fourth child was born while they lived in Rexburg.

They bought their first home in St. Anthony, Idaho and began remodeling it by adding a second story and a kitchen to accommodate their growing family. Four more children were born as the lived in St. Anthony.

Arrel (that’s Mr. Allen to you!) taught at South Fremont High School, eventually becoming the school’s librarian. He started losing his sight at the age 35 and as a result took early retirement in the late 1990’s. Arrel spent his retirement years helping others, going to the temple, and supporting his family. He always had a project going to make things better for their family.

In 2010 Marcia and Arrel went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Raleigh, North Carolina. Not long after their return, they moved to Rexburg where he could more conveniently attend the temple.

Arrel held many leadership positions over the years with the Boy Scouts of America. He really enjoyed working with the youth. He loved reading books. He was always reading something especially the scriptures, and when he could no longer read, he listened to books “on tape.” People who spent time around Arrel got really good at listening to narrators reading at twice the speed.

Arrel loved music. During his service with the Army in Japan, he sometimes sang with a jazz band. He sang around the house. He sang to his children and grandchildren. He was a big fan of opera, classical music, jazz, and songs from the 50’s. He also loved hymns, and he loved the Savior, Jesus Christ.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Marcia, his children Marcel (Joe) Sackinger, (AK); Benjamin (Melanie) Allen, (UT); Vian Allen, (ID); Rollin (Julie) Allen, (UT); Joe (Holly) Allen, (ID); Rishi (Mike) Richardson, (VA); Nephi (Katherine) Allen, (ID); Charith (Kirk) Bagley, (WA); a foster daughter, Sheila (Mark) Jumping-Elk, (SD); thirty-seven grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, and siblings Jamar Wilson, Eric Allen, and Roxy Brazzeal. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Vona and Sozel, and his brother Monroy.

The family would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the loving hospice nurses, aides, and staff at Homestead Assisted Living that helped Arrel in the last weeks of his life.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 20th at the Rexburg State Center. Family will receive friends on Friday, January 20th from 9:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery in St. Anthony. Condolences may be sent online to

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