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Allen Howard Arkett

Allen Howard Arkett, 94, passed away peacefully Jan. 8. Allen was born Dec. 2, 1927 in East Orange, New Jersey to the late Albert Edgar and Lucy (Sheppard) Arkett. He was born with a beloved twin sister, Elizabeth (Betty), with whom he shared many experiences and would fondly recount stories of their childhood. They lived in multiple locations in New Jersey, Ohio, and Connecticut as their parents were dedicated officers in service to The Salvation Army. After graduation from East Orange High School, 1945, he started school at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, but shortly thereafter was drafted for service into the US Army where he served as an instructor and paratrooper at Fort Benning, Georgia. After the service, he graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Lafayette, 1951. He became a dedicated employee of Babcock & Wilcox Company for 38 years, initially in New York later transferring to Barberton, in 1958. Applying his skills, he was promoted to Project Manager and traveled abroad, overseeing the startup of power plants.  Allen shared a cherished life with his wife, best friend and devoted partner, Phyllis DesMarais Arkett, for over 70 years. They married in 1951 in East Orange, New Jersey. Their life took them to Bryn Mawr and Wayne, Pennsylvania rearing their first two children, then to Morristown, New Jersey having their 3rd child, then relocating to Norton, in 1958 where their 4th child was born. While Allen was a proud professional, his true passion was music, notably the sounds of big band and classical music. Phyllis fondly referred to him as her “musical engineer”. His lifetime love of the cello began at age 6. He enjoyed playing his cello “Marcello” in quartet ensembles, musicals, and the Medina Symphony. In song, he lent his alto voice to the harmony of college Barbershop quartets, Kuebler Beer jingle commercials, St. Andrew’s Choir, and frequently would break into song at home. Allen was a man of various talents and interests, many shared with his family. He was an avid snow skier, ski jumper, and a founding member of the Akron Ski Club. He loved to swim in the ocean especially along the East coast as a child and later in the Gulf of Mexico at his step-mother’s home in Anna Maria, Florida. Allen came from a water-loving family with a passion for sailing that was shared by Phyllis for over 25 years. Tennis was an all-time family favorite and once retired, he played regularly with friends at Towpath Tennis Center. Ice skating was a labor of love for Phyllis, the true ice skater, but he proudly skated the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario, Califonia with her despite his better judgement. With his engineer mind, there was little he, as a master tinkerer, would not attempt to build or repair. He passed along to his family his great love of nature and the outdoors, spending time traveling, camping, and hiking in Summit County parks and pedaling on rail trails. He and Phyllis enjoyed their bicycle outings so much that he would often say he wished he had been born 20 years later because he loved riding on the developing rail trail systems. Allen was a kind-hearted gentleman, ever mindful of those in need and willingly offered his hand in support. He dedicated years as a faithful member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church serving on the vestry, choir member, Superintendent, and lay reader. He was mindful of his family’s devotion to The Salvation Army by volunteering time, ringing the bell for the Red Kettle Campaign, and serving on boards. His love of youth and the outdoors promoted his volunteerism with the Boy Scouts serving as a Cub Master for 20 years. Along with his parents and step-mother, Louella Kimball Arkett, Allen is preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Carver; twin sister, Elizabeth (Richard) Lefeber; nephew, Andre Lefeber; step-sister Audrey (Donald) Seiler, step-brother Lyman (Dell) Kimball; brother-in-law, Richard (Margaret) DesMarais. He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Phyllis; son, Stuart (Marilyn) Arkett; daughters, Jennifer (Lonnie) Arkett, and Casley (Robert) Nagengast; son-in-law, Jon Carver; sister-in-law, Jean (Harold) Somerset; niece, Cheri (Steve) DesMarais; nephew, Jim (Lyn) DesMarais; nephew, Anthony (Pat) Lefeber; grandchildren, Erin, Camille, Gabrielle, Claire, Sara, Keaton, and Paula; great-granddaughter, Ivy; and many other loving family and friends. Cremation has taken place. Due to Covid, a celebration of Allen’s life will take place at a later date. You are invited to the website “mooreffh.com” to view his tribute wall, offer condolences, and share memories. The family appreciates your thoughtfulness and expresses their gratitude to the healthcare workers, Ohio Living Rockynol staff and employees for their exemplary care of him during these difficult times. In his memory, please consider a donation to the Salvation Army of Barberton; Summit Metro Parks Foundation, Akron; Great Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America, Akron; or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Barberton.

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