1921 - 2011
Allen David Hellman was born in Dollar Bay, Michigan on November 29, 1921 and after leading a very full life passed away in his sleep on December 29, 2011. A veteran of WWII, he served with the first group of rescue pilots in the Pacific theatre, and was promoted to Commander of Naval Reserves while teaching geography at the University of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette. His formal education culminated with Ph.D. in Geography through the University of Michigan while married to the late June Iris Dement.
Moving to San Marcos to become the chairman of the Geography Department at Texas State University, then Southwest Texas State University, were wonderful years, as Dr. Hellman’s leadership and support through administration began to orchestrate the framework for where the department is today.
Allen’s other interests during his professional career extended to involvement with NASA’s moon mission projects, aerial and infrared photogrammetry, remote sensing, and aerial cartography in addition to petroleum exploration. During this time he met and married Majorie Wheatly, who proceeded him in death.
His best friend and the love of his life was the late Gloria Motovick who watched Allen swim competitively on the international level into his 70’s and enjoyed many travels together.
He is survived by his family: Donald and Debbie Hellman of California, John and Susan Hellman Franzetti and grandchildren Canyon, Dakota, Gianna Gortva and husband Ricky, and John and Renae Hellman and grandchildren Sarah and Zach of Manor, Texas.
The family expresses a heartfelt “thank you” to Texas State University, the First Presbyterian Church family and their “Sunshine Girls”, and to those showing such kindness during his later years.
Published by Legacy.com, and originally published by Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 8, 2012.