Allen A. Alsing

Allen A. Alsing, 83, died May 22, 2011, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

He was the son of Henry E. and Jessie Alsing, and graduated from San Rafael High School, San Rafael, Calif., in the top ten of his class. Later he served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947. He graduated from Oregon State University as a professional civil engineer in 1951, and took post-graduate courses at Southern Oregon State College.

He married Katherine Kay or Kathy Rice in 1953. Their son, James, was born in 1956.

His licenses from the State of Oregon also included land surveyor, water rights examiner, waste distribution operator, and water and waste water treatment plant operator. He was also a notary public in Jackson County, and a licensed private pilot.

From 1951 until 1987, he worked for the City of Ashland, starting as assistant city engineer and water supervisor, then as director of public works, with the departments of engineering, equipment maintenance, water, sewer, street, and airport under his jurisdiction. In 1985, the City of Ashland named a water reservoir the Allen A. Alsing Reservoir. He was also responsible for working with the U.S. Forest Service on management of the 14,000 acre watershed serving the city of Ashland and owned by the Forest Service.

He was past secretary and staff advisor to the Ashland Airport Commission, Ashland Bikeway Committee, and Ashland Traffic Safety Commission, and was a past member of the Rogue River National Forest Citizen's Advisory Council.

His community involvement included the Oregon Association of Retarded Citizens (past president, Rogue Valley chapter); Oregon Shakespeare Festival Association (volunteer, 1966-2004, board of directors, 1985-1990, secretary, 1990, chairman facilities committee, 1985-1994, president, Red Coats ushers, 1994); United Fund (past unit chairman); Oregon Institute of Technology (Engineering Technology Division advisory committee, 1987-1994, committee chairman, 1987-1988); Engineering Technology Foundation (trustee, 1993-1997); Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission, 1991-1994, (vice chairman, 1991, chairman, 1994-1995, finance officer, 1996-1997); Ashland Parks Foundation (trustee, 1994-1997, chairman 1994-1997); Southern Oregon Historical Society (board of directors, 1997-2003, president, 1999); Southern Oregon Historical Society Foundation (board of trustees, 2004-2007); Oregon Aviation Museum (board of trustees, 1989-1997, treasurer, 1990-1997); Ashland Airport Commission, 1988-1993, chairman, 1990); Ashland Airport Association (treasurer, 1992-1997.)

His awards included, Professional Engineers of Oregon, Rogue Valley Chapter, Engineer of the Year, 1971; American Water Works Association, Fuller Award, 1976; American Water Works Association, Community Relations Award, 1978. He was elected by his peers to be one of the 52 AWWA directors in the world; American Public Works Association, Samuel A. Greeley Local Government Service Award, 1982; and the William A. Bowes Service Award, 1984. He was selected as one of the top ten public works leaders of 1985, in the United States and Canada. He was named Ashland Volunteer of the Year in 2008, by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, nominated by the Shakespeare Festival, where he volunteered for 43 years.

Al enjoyed reading, photography, computers, travel, fishing, engineering and design plus working with his hands in carpentry, minor plumbing and electrical work, and especially the company of good friends.

He was a quiet, intelligent, humorous person who lived his life positively. His working life was dedicated to the city of Ashland, standardizing procedures and placements, improving anything possible. He particularly delighted in scrounging for free something the city needed or could use for improvements.

Allen was preceded in death by his son, James. He is survived by his wife, Katherine Kay or Kathy.

A memorial celebration of life will be held Friday, June 3, 2011, at 1:30 p.m., at Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home in Ashland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ashland Parks Foundation, Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, Southern Oregon Historical Society Foundation, or the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Foundation.

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