In Memoriam: Board Chair Michael (Mike) Allman
AUGUST 13, 1954 – DECEMBER 29, 2020
Mike Allman and his family have been a part of the Angelus Academy community from the beginning. At the old Springfield Center Drive location as well as at our current building, he continued to tirelessly contribute his time, talent and resources long after his own daughters had graduated. From heavy lifting to substitute teaching to receptionist, Mike quietly and selflessly helped in any way he could. In 2016 he graciously accepted the position as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Angelus is indebted to him for his confident yet humble leadership where his love for the school and embodiment of its mission so clearly guided his management of the board. Given Mike and his wife Sally’s ceaseless benevolence towards Angelus Academy, it is clear why they were chosen as the 2020-2021 Saint John Bosco Award Honorees.
While the list below highlights many of the things Mike did for Angelus, it is by no means exhaustive. Please take a few moments to read it. With so many words, you might think they encompass what he brought to our school, but they really don’t. May we all be filled with gratitude for the blessing that Mike was to us and may we be inspired to increase our own quiet, gracious service to others.
Mike Allman selflessly contributed at every opportunity
This list is purposefully “unordered” to even further demonstrate his far-reach. No job was too humble or insignificant for him to undertake!
- Chairman of the Board of Trustees (since 2016) Besides the many hours devoted by any Chair, he guided the school through the COVID 2020 crisis while putting us on a positive financial footing. He also provided counsel to the teachers and the administration. These heavy Chair responsibilities did not stop the many other “little” and more hidden ways in which he continued to serve.
- Supportive parent of three students (eldest daughter is our 3rd-grade teacher)
- Recess monitor
- Substitute teacher
- Resource room tutor
- Front desk receptionist and gentle Band-Aid applier
- Science fair judge
- Interior painter
- St. John Bosco campaign envelope stuffer
- Cares Act coordinator
- Co-recipient of the 2020 St. John Bosco Award with his wife Sally Allman
- Furniture mover from original to current building
- Classroom setup assistant
- Outside clean-up worker
- Painter of outdoor lunch tables (with marine paint for maximum durability!)
- Gala Coordinator for check-in and check-out
- Mothers’ Tea server
- Field trip driver and chaperone
- Men’s Sodality member
- Benefactor: financial supporter as well as donor of vacation-home weeks for annual gala
- Recipient of the 2019 annual St. Joseph’s Award for his humble, generous and selfless hard-work and his model of kindness and trustworthiness
- Runner of too many errands to count
- Solid, trustworthy and humorous friend to Angelus Academy who will be dearly missed by many
Michael and his family have been friends of Angelus Academy for many years, and all five of them have supported the school in one way or another. I got to know Michael better when I was Principal of Angelus Academy and he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Michael was an amazing listener and truly understood my need to “discuss” my many concerns. His patience was not only a gift, but learned from years of experience. Michael listened without complaint, patiently tolerated numerous interruptions and let me finish before responding. He made me feel appreciated, both personally and professionally. He always ended our conversations with a joke or laugh to put me at ease. I will miss his wry smile, and opened-mouth laugh, full of mischief and delight. I will miss his kind and sincere regard for me and the faculty and staff of Angelus Academy and especially his generosity and care for my family.
When Mike was volunteering at Angelus, I loved making copies by the front desk so we could chat. He never failed to ask how I was doing and always found a reason to thank me for my work – sincere kindness and gratitude that will continue to inspire me. What I really enjoyed were updates on his Constitution and WWII courses, and hearing about his hopefulness in our youth, our country, and colleges like Hillsdale that offered these classes. Perhaps as a wink to Mike’s patriotism, I was happy to hear that God blessed him with a bald eagle sighting over the Shenandoah River this summer. May the St. Johns of heaven intercede for Mike, and may his deep and abiding faith, hope, and charity be greatly rewarded!
I have known Michael Allman for close to 20 years, mostly in relation to his wife Sally’s involvement in the Women’s Apostolate to Youth, the Founders of Angelus Academy. He was always a reliably genial, polite and soft-spoken kind of man—very easy to like. But it was not until he became the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Angelus that I began to get a fuller picture of the man.
The Trustees are where the rubber hits the institutional road for any organization, and that is especially true of a small, private school like Angelus Academy. I served on this Board for close to two decades and know well how many challenges such a group is expected to deal with year in and year out. Challenges met are a source of great satisfaction; challenges looming can be a big source of stress. Mike’s great gift to me as a trustee was the feeling of confidence he instilled in me that whatever new task we were faced with was going to be surmountable. He did this partly because he always appeared unflappable; but, even more, he conveyed the kind of steadiness, strength and reassurance that I associate with being a good father: We can take care of this!
When you survey the long list of volunteer activities at the school Mike undertook on a regular basis you will see the secret of his success. He knew the school inside out—like a father knows his family—and was not simply a generous benefactor who showed up on a quarterly basis to chair a meeting.
Michael Allman will not be “replaceable” for Angelus Academy. We need to continue to call upon his paternal protection and direction for our mission as one of our major intercessors, knowing that his answer will be: We can take care of this!
Mike was so kind to all the children he met while helping us here at Angelus. He was incredibly gentle with them, and he always had a ready smile and a supportive word for each of us teachers. I especially am grateful for the times he was able to substitute in my math classes as he brought so much knowledge and his perspectives on engineering to our students’ instruction. May he rest in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was obvious that Mike Allman took great joy in life! I always knew when he was about to tell a funny story, or share a cute mispronunciation he’d heard from a young student because the story or anecdote was always preceded by a twinkle in his eye and the slightest grin at the corner of his mouth! And then Mike would chuckle as he retold the story, and as he received just as much joy with the second telling! Of course there was so much more than this to Mike Allman, and I learned much from him. I learned from his quiet demeanor, his incredible generosity, his willing spirit, his steady work ethic, and I had great respect for the depth of his knowledge. My husband and I have been blessed to have known such a wonderful man. Mike, you have shared so much joy with so many. Now may our merciful Lord receive you into eternal joy.