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Allen Douglas Berrien

LAKEVILLE — Allen Douglas Berrien of Lakeville, born April 30, 1954, died on Oct. 8, 2020, at Noble Horizons in Salisbury after a lengthy illness.

Allen was born in New Haven, Conn., to Florence G. and Allen G. Berrien. He is survived by his four children, Kate Briggs, Elizabeth Berrien, Heather Berrien and Douglas Clay Berrien; his mother, Florence Berrien; his sisters, Nancy Bennett, Laurel Van Wilgen and Leigh Bak; and his beloved dog, Callie. He was predeceased by his father, Allen G. Berrien.

Allen grew up in Milford, Conn., spending his early years growing up in and around his family’s boatyard, Milford Boat Works. That led to a career as a marine mechanic and later as an editor for Boating magazine. Allen never met a mechanical problem that he didn’t relish tackling and couldn’t figure out. 

Allen was a true genius, a prolific reader as well as writer, with a vocabulary that rivaled Webster’s. Allen authored three books on boat and small engine maintenance and served as editor for his dear friend Bill Streeter and many others. Allen was known for his great storytelling, his thoughtful attention to detail, his ability to turn a phrase and for silently (or not so silently) correcting your grammar. Allen’s fix-it skills then turned into a career in computer repair, first as a “Mac Genius,” and then in a career at Visionary Computer in Lakeville. Despite his many accomplishments, Allen was most proud of being a kind, loving and gentle father to his four children.

Allen’s true passions were history, travel and the natural world. He and his former wife, Maggie, and son Doug spent a year following the trail of Lewis and Clark. He later spent another year on the road visiting as many of the national parks as was humanly possible in his custom VW Eurovan. 

Allen was ageless; when he was 10 years old, his very best friend and mentor was Carsten Jenssen, who was 35 years his senior. The two of them spent countless hours in and around boats in Milford Harbor and discussing the ways of the world on Molasses Hill in Egremont, Mass. When Allen made a friend, it was for life; he is survived by two dear childhood friends, Bill Thorne and Alex Langsner.

Allen was one of a kind. He didn’t always do life the easy way, but he did it his way. He gave and received great comfort through his time spent in recovery, and logged many hours in transporting others to meetings in one of a series of trusty Volvos. A number of lasting friendships were forged through his involvement in AA, which literally saved his life and gave him great purpose and a sense of belonging. 

Allen came back to his faith later in life and found a loving church family at Trinity Episcopal, Lime Rock. He took on many volunteer roles at the church and gave unselfishly of his time as Clerk of the Vestry, Stewardship Chairperson and for the last two years, Junior Warden.

A memorial service celebrating Allen’s life will be held at Trinity Episcopal, Lime Rock on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. If you care to make a gift in Allen’s memory, consider a gift to Trinity Lime Rock Episcopal or Doctors without Borders; both were dear to him.

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