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David C. Allison

On March 5, 2010 Sullivan County Democrats lost a dedicated party leader, the New Hampshire House of Representatives a distinguished alumnus, and I a colleague as well as friend.  Former Sullivan County Democrats' Chair and former Claremont State Rep. David C. Allison died in Claremont at age 85.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Dave served honorably during World War II, like most of his generation.  After leaving the service and finishing his education, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a writer as well as editor for several publishers.  He married, and had four children with his first wife, Harriette. Later with his second wife, Mary Elizabeth, better known as Mary Lib, he bought a summer home in Claremont, which became their permanent home in 1977.  Dave and Mary Lib quickly became a part of the community.  They both served on the board of trustees of the city's library.  Dave was later elected to the Claremont School Board, and even volunteered as Rep. Tom Donovan's softball coach.  Both also became involved with  the Sullivan County Democrats. In 1990 Dave took the plunge, and ran for state representative.  He was elected on his first try, and served for 14 straight years-never losing an election.  He also served two years as County Chair from 1994-96.  Not the most pleasant period for us Democrats as veteran party activists may remember.  Nevertheless,  Dave with Mary Lib's support, kept plugging away-raising money, recruiting candidates,  encouraging candidates, and trying to maintain a positive party image. His legislative achievements included critical state support for the Claremont School District's Parents as Teachers program, which helps parents better prepare their young children for future success in school.  Also the naming of a beautiful stretch of Route 12 between Claremont and Plainfield for the artist Maxfield Parrish.  Most importantly, Dave served as a role model for many legislators, not just in Sullivan County, but throughout the rest of New Hampshire.  Among other traits, he showed me the value of working with Republican legislators on issues of common concern.

Finally, he always seemed optimistic, despite suffering several political and personal disappointments.  These disappointments included losing one of his children, sustaining a serious fall just minutes before being sworn in for his final term, and losing his beloved Mary Lib six months later.  David Allison left a rich legacy of public service for Democrats like myself.  A legacy of which I am honored to have a small part.  May he rest in peace.