Andrew Allen ('12C), known for his passion for music and theater, sense of humor and outgoing nature, died on May 28. He was 23.
He passed away unexpectedly in his sleep due to asphyxiation, which caused him to stop breathing.
The psychology major from Gainesville, Ga. was a singer and a musician who performed in several Emory theatrical productions and in the Atlanta Boys' Choir. His involvement in the organization qualified him for a European tour with stops in St. Petersburg and London, according to Michael Reddy-Miller ('08OX, '10C), one of Allen's closest friends.
Reddy-Miller wrote in an email that in addition to teaching theatre students at Ben Franklin Academy in Atlanta, Allen was involved in film production in Atlanta and aspired to establish his own cooking show.
Scott Stewart, director of wind studies at Emory, wrote in an email to the Wheel
that Allen was "focused and one of the most prepared members of the cast in rehearsals, and always knew when to work hard and when to throw in a little humor to break the tension."
Many remember Allen for his talent on the stage, such as in his performance in the 2010 musical "Oklahoma!," a joint venture between Theater Emory and Music. Allen played the role of Jud, who, according to Stewart, is a "rough-around-the-edges farm hand and antagonist" in the show.
"Knowing Andrew as a fun-loving and gentle soul, it was fascinating to watch this transformation, to the point where his stage persona as the villain became frighteningly real at times," Stewart wrote. "Andrew had dramatic lines, solo numbers, dancing and fight scenes — all of which he pulled off with aplomb."
In addition to being a theatrically-driven student and individual, Reddy-Miller described Allen in an email to the Wheel
as "the life of the party, a person who made friends from strangers and better friends from friends."
Allen volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which matches adult volunteers and with children between the ages of six and 18 to "develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people," according to the organization's website. While Allen was not a soccer fan, he brought his "little" to an Atlanta men's professional soccer game.
"As long as the people he was around were having a good time, so was he," Reddy-Miller wrote.
Allen was born Dec. 8, 1988 in St. Augustine, Fla. Raised in Gainesville, he attended Gainesville City Schools for which he garnered several local and state awards for theater.
Memorial services were held at 11 a.m. on June 2 at Old Church in Oxford, Ga. at Emory's Oxford College.
He is survived by his father Terry Allen, his mother Peggy Egan, his stepfather Philip Egan, his sisters Emily and Catherine, as well as his grandparents Arlis McCauley, J. Peter Dosland, Joyce Allen and William Allen.
— Contact Jordan Friedman