His Life

Fairmont Loses a Wonderful Man

 On April 2, 2011, a lifelong resident of Marion County, Allen Curtis Modi, “Mo” to his many friends, passed away suddenly in his home at the young age of 56 years.   Those of us who were fortunate enough to have this special man in our lives at some point are now left with a deep sense of loss at having him taken from us so soon.  Since there was no formal eulogy at Allen’s funeral, I would like to share some of my memories as a tribute to the man I first met in college in 1976.

 Allen grew up in Fairmont after spending the first three years of his life in Mannington.  He was a 1972 graduate of Fairmont Senior High School. He graduated from Fairmont State College with two degrees in Psychology and Sociology.  Allen was one of the most intelligent, well-read people I have known.   He was at home with people from all walks of life and could converse with ease on many topics.  Allen liked art and music, especially classical music.  He was a model train aficionado with an extensive collection.

 After college, Allen worked in retail for a number of years, becoming manager of a shoe store and an optical shop, where he was highly regarded as an excellent optician.  He worked for Consol Coal Company for several years as an abandoned well locator, a job he especially liked as it allowed him to be outdoors.  In recent years, he worked for Century 21 Real Estate as an agent who helped many families find their dream homes.

 Allen was good with his hands and quite a craftsman.  His father owned an upholstery business in Fairmont for many years and Allen learned that trade, along with woodworking.  He was mechanically inclined and could competently work on cars and trucks, including the olive-green 1968 Mustang he drove in college.

 Traveling was one of Allen’s passions.  He loved the beaches of Florida where he spent many vacations with friends and the mountains of West Virginia where he and I spent many weekends at his camp at Teter Creek Lake.  He found the outdoor activities of camping and fishing to be great joys.

 Allen was a kind, gentle man with a compassionate spirit.  He loved children and animals and they sensed his kindness.  He especially loved dogs and shared his life with several faithful ones, including Heidi, our Norwegian Elkhound, who could be seen riding shotgun in Allen's truck everywhere he went.

 His Christian faith was his touchstone.  Allen went to Mass each week, including the day he died.  He did more than go to church--he lived his faith everyday through his acts of generosity and love for his fellow man.  He was ready and willing to lend a hand; any time of the day or night he was just a phone call away.

 Finally, Allen’s sense of humor was legendary.  He was famous for the jokes he told and his laugh was infectious, turning the darkest days bright.  That sense of humor and positive attitude once helped me through a serious illness and I am forever grateful.

 Allen is survived by his Uncle Jim, “Unc” as he called him, with whom he had Sunday dinner every week, and his daughter Kayla, a lovely young lady I met for the first time at his funeral.  I know he was very proud to call her his daughter. He also leaves behind those of us who knew and loved him.  We are heartbroken and sad that he was taken from us.  If Allen were here now, he would make a joke and get us all laughing, and before long that sadness would be replaced with gladness at having known and loved this wonderful man.  May he rest in peace in the arms of the angels for all eternity.