MOORHEAD — Sometimes you don’t realize you’re encountering greatness when you’re smack dab in the middle of it. Maybe it’s because that 'greatness' is funny and warm with arms that hug so tight they make everything else go away. But make no mistake about it, Esther Allen was all of those things — not to mention, kind, generous, and a gosh-darn force of nature.
Esther might have been small in stature but she was larger than life in the people she inspired and the legacy she left in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
From Nekoma to D.C.
Esther grew up on a farm near Nekoma, North Dakota with her close-knit family. After graduating from Nekoma High School, she moved to Moorhead to attend Concordia College. After graduation in 1955, she began her career teaching business and speech in Clinton, Minnesota before moving to Washington, D.C. to work for North Dakota Sen. Bill Langer.
According to her obituary, it was in Washington that she met the love of her life, Clyde Allen, while taking dance lessons. It was Oct 10, 1957.
"That was nearly 24,000 days ago," the bereaved Clyde said the other day with a twinkle in his eye.
He said in Esther's last days as he sat by her bedside, he googled how many days he had spent with his beloved wife. Not enough.
Clyde, a Massachusetts native and recent Yale graduate working for the National Security Administration in D.C., was immediately smitten with the North Dakota farm girl.
"She was cute, bright and fun! We hit it off," he says.
That's an understatement. They were engaged just 49 days later on Thanksgiving. They were married for 64 years and had two children; Cindy and Scott.
The Allen family lived in Bloomington, Minnesota for 20 years before moving to Moorhead in 1983 when Clyde took a position as Treasurer and Vice President of Financial Affairs at Concordia.
Continuing reading the entire Forum Communications story about Esther's history of community service; her work at Concordia College, including arranging a Norwegian Royal visit; and her caring spirit.