Douglas Mark Allen, Huntsville legend, Wilderness Ward Bishop, consummate friend, and husband to his beloved Susie, passed away on Thursday October 27, 2022. Doug left this earth doing what he loved most, where he loved most, with whom he loved most: chasing deer, in the mountains surrounding Huntsville, with Susie by his side. He was 63 years old. To reduce the life of Doug Allen to a few hundred words seems an impossible task, as Doug was a character of much depth. At his core he was a Fire Captain and Big Game Hunter, an excellent and fast friend, and a completely devoted husband to his wife, Susan Calton, whom he lived and loved to serve.
Doug was born on July 3, 1959 and eagerly taken home by Loris (Felt) Allen and Daniel Mark Allen of Huntsville, Utah. Loris and Mark were wonderful parents. Doted on by his loving mother, Doug was a dutiful, loving son. Leaving the doting to Loris, Mark imparted upon Doug the life-skills and attributes that would make Douglas the formidable, yet beloved man that he was. Mark was a master horseman and he paid particular care to pass those skills to his son. Mark taught Doug the old way of doing almost everything, the value of honesty and integrity, and to stand up for one’s convictions. To Loris’ disapproval Mark taught Doug to defend himself, his friends, and those who could not defend themselves. The most visible indication that Doug had taken this particular lesson to heart was his nose, misshapen from a lifetime of brawls defending those he loved.
In May 1985 Doug joined the Weber Fire District. As a 24-year veteran of the Weber County Fire District, Captain Allen protected the public with honor, empathy, and respect. Doug’s service as a firefighter framed the man he was, and his great skill and love for his fellow firefighters made him a legend within the district. When word got out that Captain Allen was the call on the mountain, stations throughout the district responded in droves, everyone wanting to help the man that trained, worked alongside, and garnered the respect of so many. Doug carried the trauma of the job with him even after retirement. He never forgot the faces of those he helped, and those he couldn’t; it is a burden that all firefighters carry. In honor of Captain Allen, we humbly ask that you express gratitude to the first responders of your community as often as the occasion arises. Doug left an indelible mark on the Weber Fire District that will exist long after his passing.
The love of Doug’s life was his wife, Susan. Susan accepted Doug without condition and provided him with a lifetime’s worth of kindness, encouragement, and compliments, in but a half of a lifetime. Doug wanted nothing more than to spend out the rest of his life in the mountains with Susie by his side. She has provided him with unending happiness. Despite being married for 17 years, Doug frequently expressed his disbelief that Susan would love someone like him. Douglas Allen lived and loved to serve Susan.
Hunting was one of Doug’s most genuine joys in the world. As Bishop of the Wilderness Ward, he oversaw a vast network of hunters across the country and many of Ogden Valley’s most talented and enthusiastic big game hunters. Bishop Allen counseled his flock on the best units to apply for and the most strategic points to buy; he celebrated in their successes, guided their hunts, and lamented in losses. Doug was never more in his element than on the highest peak, in the most treacherous terrain pursuing the coveted North American Grand Slam, the most cunning of big game. Doug called the Mackenzie Mountains, in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the most beautiful place he had ever known. Doug took a Dall’s sheep on Allen’s Peak during that hunt, so named because he was the first known hunter to hunt that mountain. The pursuit of mule deer, the grey ghost of the Mountain West, caught his appetite for the hunt unlike anything else. With a 1959 Remington model 700 .270 Winchester in hand, Doug traveled near and far in pursuit of these elusive animals, frequently likening it to a chess match. Doug hunted big game of South Africa, chased bugles in the Book Cliff’s and Boulder mountains, and could outpace guides, half his age, with a grin on his face. Doug considered himself to be a man of enormous fortune to have world-class opportunity out his back door, frequently hunting moose, elk, and deer on the monastery lands east of Huntsville. Doug was a respectful hunter who treated the taking of an animal with spiritual reverence.
Doug’s love for hunting was only enriched by Susie’s presence in his life. She quickly took to his beloved pastime, and to Doug’s absolute delight, Sue was a quick study. In no time, the once staunch vegetarian was making her own impressive contributions to the trophy room. The two spent countless hours together on the mountain and he had never been happier than sharing his wilderness with his wife. Three days after Doug passed, Susan returned to the very same mountain determined to finish what she and Doug had started. And boy did she do Doug proud, filling her tag with a big, beautiful buck. What a woman, in an outstanding example of resilience and loyalty to her dear husband.
Doug was a fast, fierce, and forever friend. To be Doug’s friend was not a casual relationship: his friendships were never shallow, never fleeting. If Doug was in your life, he was in it for good. Doug loved his friends deeply, and took great pride in maintaining those relationships. Doug could build and fix anything, and often did so in service of his dear friends. Doug doted on his friends, a trait he no doubt inherited from his loving mother. Doug had the uncanny ability of making deep, personal connections with everyone he met, and while this often put his extremely introverted wife into varying levels of discomfort, she recognized this ability as one of his greatest and most beautiful gifts. Witnessing Doug’s deep network of friends rally around his beloved Susie has been a bright light in a most grievous time.
In a world where people contort themselves to be who they think the world will like most, carefully curating a persona with no flaws, Doug was always Doug – kind-hearted, hard-working, irreverent Doug. He was an original, larger than life character, quick to jump to the defense of one of his brothers, but easily moved to tears discussing war veterans, the love for his country, his friendships, and experiences as a firefighter. Doug was deeply sensitive, with emotions to match his size. Doug’s presence commanded any room he entered, but the intimidation brought on by his stature quickly gave way to an eagerness, excitement, and even tenderness at the prospect of connecting with an old friend or making a new one.
Doug was venerated in his community, a proud fourth-generation Huntsville resident. He harbored a strong sense of service towards the members of his community, serving on the town council, planning commission, and the water board as he endeavored to ensure Huntsville remained a town worthy of the many residents he loved.
Doug was a father to nine children. Amos, Ginger, Josie, Kate, and Trit were loved deeply by their Dad. You have been a great source of pride throughout your father’s life. By the time Doug met Susan, he had successfully delivered his children into adulthood and likely wasn’t eager to start over with a new group. But start over he did, as he helped Susan raise Alex, Katie, Sam, and Jack. Doug accepted us as one of his own, and we are forever grateful to him for the love he gave us, and his devotion to our mom.
Doug was hero-worshipped by his 14 grandchildren. He taught his grandkids practical life skills, just as his father taught him; like how to use a knife, skin a deer, shoot a gun, and trap porcupines. Pappy Doug’s physical absence in their lives is a source of great sorrow for us, but he will be there to guide them as they get that first buck, explore the wilderness, and grapple with life’s many obstacles and joys.
Doug left this world as he hoped he would, and with everything he loved most in close proximity: on the hunt, in the mountains, with his sweet wife, knowing dear friends were nearby to provide her with strength and support. Not everything went Doug’s way in life, but this definitely did. We take comfort in knowing that Doug was subliminally happy and wholly content as he exited this world. Doug was sentimental, yet sensible. And while he’d want us to carry shared memories close to our hearts, he would not want us to dwell on the sadness. The best way to honor Doug’s memory is to follow Sue’s example and get that buck, find peace in the wilderness, be a loyal friend, and heap your love for him onto his most beloved wife.
Doug was preceded in death by his mother and father, Mark and Loris Allen and his sister Jolene (Allen) Probasco. He is survived by his cherished wife Susan Calton. His children Amos Allen, Ginger Allen, Josie (Ryan) Robison, Kate Story, and Andrea (Trit) Burrows, step-children Alex (Kimberly) Hall, Katie (Taylor) Finlinson, Sam (Alexandra) Hall, and Jack Hall; and grandchildren Taylee Allen; Pierson, Madilyn, Jensen, and Watson Robison; Bennett and Macy Story; Jackson, Hannah, Emery, and Bowen Burrows; and George, Nora, and Ada Finlinson.
A celebration of Doug’s life will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2022 from 5-8pm at Earl’s Lodge, Snowbasin, where he will be honored by the Weber County Fire Honor Guard. We invite all to come with photos, stories, and memories to share. Doug will be laid to rest in a special spot overlooking his hometown, with only the mountains between him and the heavens.