It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our Dad, Les Allen, who passed away peacefully on July 30th, 2020 at the Whistle Bend Place in Whitehorse, Yukon in his 100th year.
In November of 1940, Dad was called up by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, where he served as an Air Crewman, stationed in Singapore, India & Canada, working as a Airframe Fitter. He was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, the son of William & Ellen Allen, and had nine siblings, all of whom proudly served their country during the war.
In August of 1947, Dad arrived back to Regina, Saskatchewan and boarded with a friends’ parents, Charlie & Louise Whitmore, who had sponsored his immigration. Together with his friend, Bill Whitmore, they met a placer miner from Mayo, Yukon, who passed on information that they were looking for workers at the Elsa Silver Mine. They boarded a DC3 and flew off to the Yukon to prospect for gold.
For the first nine years that Dad was in the Yukon, he held a number of jobs cutting wood, prospecting, fire fighting, and working as a deck hand on the Steamboat “Whitehorse”. In 1951 Dad & his partner, Bill, volunteered to help the Yukon Game Commissioner fetch six buffalo from Big Delta, Alaska – a gift to the Yukon from the United States. These buffalo were corralled and transported to Braeburn. The Fish & Game Association brought out a young photographer, Rolf Hougen, to document the releasing the first buffalo to the wilds of the Yukon.
Dad met the love of his life, Pansy Jackson, on the Teslin River in August of 1950. It was during the summer of 1954, after working & prospecting across Yukon the previous years, he arrived back to Johnson’s Crossing to help the Jackson family with their annual salmon harvest. One night during a late night salmon drift, one of Mom’s cousin’s played a trick on Dad in which they had sawed half way through one of the oars. While Mom & Dad were rowing the boat and holding the net tight during the drift, one of the oars broke and Mom fell into Dad’s arms. He said, “…all I could do was ask her if she would marry me!”. They had 63 wonderful years together before she passed away in August of 2018.
Dad & Mom raised our family on the trapline at Johnson’s Crossing, where Dad ran a fish guiding business in the summer, and trapped during the winter. He worked for the Yukon Forest Service, stationed out of Teslin and later on at Hanger D at the Whitehorse Airport. It was during this period of employment, that Dad supervised, and mentored, a number of young men on various fire crews. He endeavoured to be a positive role model, gave lots of advise, passed on excellent work ethics, and always had an open ear. These fire crew members were affectionately known as his “boys”.
Les is survived by five children: William Allen (Shawn), Mary Blahitka (Bill), Minnie Clark (Jim), Patricia Allen-Shevchenko (Dan) and Gina Alaric (Ken). He also leaves behind nine grandchildren, Ben, Daniel, Ryan, Shannon, Greg, Kara, Morley, Jacob and Michael and three great grandchildren Evan, Mason and Isabella.
At his request, there will be no service. His ashes will be mixed with that of his late wife, Pansy, and together, they will be spread over Hayes Peak on Teslin Lake and under the bridge at Johnson’s Crossing.