Yale University

In Memoriam

Thomas F. Allen

Tom Allen
1964 graduation

Tom Allen was remembered at a Memorial Service in Battell Chapel on June 5, 2009 during our 45th reunion. Below are:

Memorial Service reading

by Wayne Batcheler, '64

Thomas Farnham Allen came to Yale from Norwalk Ohio as a freshman in the Class of 1964, but after that year on the Old Campus he took a year off. When he returned to Yale in the fall of 1962 he moved to Branford College and majored in Political Science and Economics. Successful in academics, he was also active in the Political Union and served as secretary of the Progressive Party. Tom graduated in 1965, but maintained his affiliation with our class. He was one of relatively few Yale College grads admitted each year to Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1968. While in law school Tom also lectured at New Haven Community College and was an instructor in the Yale Political Science Department.

After graduating from Yale Law, Tom went back to Ohio and began working with the prestigious Cleveland law firm of Squire, Sanders and Dempsey, specializing in tax law. He became a partner in 1978 and saw the firm grow from one office to seven. In 1991 Tom left Squire Sanders to go into solo practice, with a stable base of clients who valued his expertise in tax, trust, and estates law. Tom served on the boards of several charities in the Cleveland area, and helped to recruit promising area high-school students to apply to Yale.

Tom Allen
(in later life)

Tom enjoyed travel and outdoor adventure, but his overwhelming passion was stamp collecting. His first exhibit, envelopes and letters to and from Confederate soldiers held prisoner in Ohio during the Civil War, won a prize at a show in 1978 sponsored by greater Cleveland's Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, one of the oldest stamp clubs in the country. Tom held many offices in that club over the years, and in the Ohio Postal History Society and U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. His main collecting interest was the postal history of Cleveland going back to the days before printed postage stamps were issued. He built that collection into an exhibit that won numerous national Gold Medals, Grand Awards, and ultimately a Gold Medal at an international exhibition in Belgium in 2001. Tom also compiled an award-winning handbook on 19th century Cleveland postal markings. He judged numerous exhibits as an American Philatelic Society accredited judge, and was honored with several awards for his scholarship and service to philately.

Tom died on October 17, 2007 of complications from emphysema and heart disease. There were no survivors, but his passing was mourned by many who knew him in his professional and stamp collecting life.


Thomas F. Allen, lawyer and expert on 19th-century area postal markings

Cleveland Plain Dealer

November 7, 2007

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — Thomas Allen researched the history of 19th-century Cleveland postal markings, published numerous articles and won national and international awards for his exhibits.

The 65-year old University Heights resident, who had a private law firm in downtown Cleveland, died October 17, 2007 at the Cleveland Clinic.

He died of complications from emphysema and heart disease, according to the Cuyahoga County coroner's office.

Allen got in the stamp/postal marking collection as a teenager. One of his first collections was a series of envelopes and letters to and from the Civil War's southern prisons at Johnson's Island in Sandusky Bay.

"Tom Allen collected envelopes, what they call covers, that the prisoners of war wrote home," sand Hans Pohler, president of the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, a Greater Cleveland organization. The envelopes had initials of the censors who read the letters, routing markings, border markings between the North and South, and a United States stamp of that period, he said.

His overall collection showed how rates, markings and ink stampings changed through the end of the Civil War.

The U.S. Postal Service began using stamps in 1847.

His first exhibit of the Johnson's Island Prisoner of War covers won a silver medal at the 1978 March Party Stamp show, annually hosted by the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club.

The exhibit of postal markings earned a gold medal and the American Philatelic Society medal of excellence at the 1993 AIRPEX, a national stamp show. His full postal history, including a stamped and stampless exhibit, won an international gold medal in Brussels, Belgium, in 2001.

He sold the exhibit in 1995.

Allen also had a Cleveland collection of letter envelopes from the early 1800's through the Civil War period, including manuscript markings before postage stamps were used, said Pohler. He sold that collection last year.

He co-authored a 1991 handbook on 19th-century Cleveland postal markings.

Allen is a past president of the United States Philatelic Classics Society. He was the editor in chief for one year of the organization's publication, the Chronicle.

He joined the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club in 1976 and he served as its president, secretary and longtime treasurer.

Allen was a member of the Ohio Postal History Society since 1976, and was its treasurer the past 12 years. He served as treasurer of several other philatelic organizations.

He judged numerous exhibits as an American Philatelic Society accredited judge.

Allen was born in Norwalk and graduated from Norwalk High School. He graduated from Yale University in 1965, magna cum laude, and the Yale Law School in 1968.

He joined the Squire Sanders & Dempsey law firm after graduating and became a partner in 1978. He left the firm in 1991 to open his own law office. His emphasis was on tax, estate, trust and related matters.

There were no survivors. A memorial service was held on Saturday, November 3, at St. Paul Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd, Cleveland Heights. Contributions were directed to the Church.