Kristen Allen, 58
Kristen Allen, born June 22, 1954, died from ovarian cancer on Nov. 27.
Many adjectives would be appropriate to describe Kristen, but committed, strong, and fair would be among the most apt. She was committed and passionate about her family and friends, her work at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, and her horses and dogs. She was a strong woman who would not let cancer define her. For most of the 6 and a half years that she had the disease, she continued to do the things that she loved: training a new horse, walking her dogs, serving on the board of the Whole Earth Grocery Cooperative, doing yoga, and continuing to learn. Her love of learning is demonstrated by multiple course certificates in online instruction she completed a month before her death. She was very interested in online learning and was a key player in the creation of a first-of-its-kind, online degree completion program in sustainable management that is offered by UW-River Falls and three partner schools in the UW-System. She was a fair, honest, and ethical person who treated everyone she met with respect. She was heavily involved in organizing the annual Unity in the Community event in recent years and served as president of the River Falls Community Theatre - she made River Falls a better place to live.
Kristen was born in Sydney, Australia, and grew up in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Her younger days were dominated by horses and exploring the Australian bush with her parents, Wickham and Margaret Allen, and brother, Nicholas. The family moved to Midland, Mich., in 1969, and Kristen graduated from Midland High School in 1972. After a year of boarding school back in Australia, Kristen attended the University of New England in Armidale, Australia, and graduated with a degree in rural science. She worked for Australia's Department of Primary Production for several years prior to traveling through Asia and Europe and returning to the U.S. to pursue a Master's degree in agricultural economics at Michigan State University. While at Michigan State, Kristen met and married David Trechter. Upon their graduation, Kristen and David moved to Washington, D.C., where Kristen worked for the Congressional Budget Office and later for the think tank Resources for the Future. While in Washington, Kristen gave birth to two sons, Colin Samuel (1986) and Jeffrey Allen (1989). In 1990, the family moved to River Falls where, eventually, both Kristen and David were employed by the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. Most recently, Kristen worked as an outreach program manager and assistant outreach director and helped to manage a number of programs aimed at off-campus learners.
Kristen is survived by her husband, David Trechter; sons, Colin and Jeffrey Trechter; parents, Wickham and Margaret Allen; and brother, Nick Allen.
A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Falcon's Nest in the UWRF University Center. Visitation will be from 2-3:30 p.m., and a celebration of Kristen's life will be from 3:30-5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Kristen Allen and David Trechter Scholarship Fund at the UW-River Falls Foundation, 410 S. 3rd St., River Falls, WI 54022.
Cashman-Hill Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family. Please visit www.hillfuneralservice.com to leave online condolences.