Posted by Jessica Somerville-Braun on April 15, 2021
So many of my happy summertime memories from my childhood include Uncle Jack. There was the trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and Uncle Jack teasing me for being ice cream-crazy. There was the trip to the incredible San Diego Zoo. And then there was just all hanging out at our home some summers and at the Allen home other summers.
And there are also all the “memories” from before I can remember- that I know because they are family legend. There is the infamous ‘Boston’ story and the infamous ‘girl bites dog’ story. And then there’s how I got my nickname. When I was a baby, Uncle Jack and Aunt Teresa gave me the one and only nickname I’ve ever had. Even now in my adulthood, Uncle Jack and Teresa would call me by their nickname for me, and it always made me smile and feel so loved.
I am grateful for all the laughs and good memories to hold onto in these moments when I dearly miss my Uncle Jack.
Posted by Tony Fanto on April 11, 2021
I know you don't know me, but I'm Jack's cousin, from his father's side. I was able to log on to the service and stay almost to the end. I'd like to offer my condolences, and and point out what a wonderful job Peggy did with managing this "virtual" memorial. Well done. I don't remember when I saw him last, maybe 1979. But if i had to bring up the good memories, it has to be, by far, the Fourth of July family get togethers at our Uncle Al and Aunt Chickie's in Long Island. Wish we stayed in touch.
Posted by Lauri Reilly on April 11, 2021
I met Jack in September of 1977. It was his freshman year at UC San Diego and fresh off the plane from New York. I was a senior and his Resident Advisor.

As the RA, I was “in charge” of the 60 or so residents of Argo 4, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that Jack was really the one in charge.

He challenged (or shall I say ignored) many of the “dorm rules” & most of the time persuaded me to look the other way.

For example, one night someone pulled the fire alarm and Jack refused to leave his room as was required. He convinced me to get everyone else out first then come back for him. He had his reason but as a true gentleman, never revealed her name! When I did go back, he was already downstairs and very much alone.

Jack is a big part of so many great memories from our youth. There were water balloon fights, progressive dinners, beer baseball games, a spring break ski trip to Lake Tahoe, and as for the no alcohol policy, well you could pretty much guarantee that there was always a beer in the frig.

Jack was a life time Yankee fan, me a life time Angel fan & that created many spirited chats between us. He tried to convince me that the Yankees were the best team ever! Maybe they were, but I reminded him that the Angels had beaten the Yankees more times than any other team in baseball. We did agree, however, that there was no greater sport than the game of baseball and that Mickey Mantle was a pretty good player.

Jack had an amazing sense of humor and his New York accent made it even harder for me to take him seriously. When I learned that this crazy new yorker had earned his PhD it just didn’t compute. I had rarely seen the serious student side of him and he did it while married and raising young children. Way to go Dr Jack!

We stayed in touch over the years thru address change notices, birth announcements, Christmas cards and friends. Behind that gregarious exterior, Jack was always someone that would be there when I needed a shoulder, a laugh, or a hug. He kept things light and always in perspective.

When many of us were trying to figure life out back then, I believe that these words best described Jack’s philosophy at the time:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a good looking and well preserved body,

but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and in Jack’s case - with a baseball in one hand – a beer in the other and loudly proclaiming ...

-- Whoa -- What a Ride!" (in his New York accent of course!)   Rest in peace, Jack and Thank you.
Posted by Nancy Adams on April 11, 2021
That was a beautiful memorial to my cousin Jack - so glad I was able to attend. Jackie will always be part of my best memories growing up in NY. Getting together at Nana's with all our O'Brien cousins was full of laughter, teasing and Irish songs. May all your wonderful memories of Jack give you comfort. 
With love and prayers, Nancy
Posted by Shannon Fernbaugh on April 11, 2021
My journey with Jack started in 1994… I had just returned to work after having a week off due to surgery for a deviated septum – and perhaps I was a bit more tan because I couldn’t do anything for a week but lay in the sun – Well, that opened the door for Jack to speak his mind… proclaiming strong doubt that I had “nose surgery”…. Being the sassy 25 year old that I was, I promptly stuck a green pea from my salad up my nose and shot it at him across the room…. And that’s how our friendship began.

Soon after Jack became my boss. We had many fun years at Viagene. I always loved the stories he told about raising his kids, how lucky he was to have Teresa (later referring to himself as a Lucky Idiot) and his adventures growing up on the east coast. Eventually we both moved on from that job and then in 2004 we found ourselves at the same company…. AND… he once again was my boss. We were both a little older, maybe a little wiser and now I was a Mom… Our years at Molecular Medicine then SAFC were some of the best years of my career. Jack was instrumental in helping me realize my potential; he gave me confidence, he taught me how to be a good manager by adapting to my people and not forcing my people to adapt to me. From a personal perspective, listening to Jack talk about being a husband and father; how it’s important to always be the strongest advocate for his kids, how it’s ok to show them tough love when it’s needed and how to not sweat the small stuff are the most valuable life lessons that I both carry in my heart and practice daily.

Now, we also had our fair share of shenanigans…. I would quit or he would fire me at least twice a week… the team would play jokes on him… like the time he went on vacation and we turned everything in his office backwards… well, except the glamor shot he had of Teresa… he proudly displayed that picture and it would be very disrespectful to touch it… when one of the new team members attempted to move it, they promptly received a mama grizzly bear growl from me.

One of my favorite pranks was when Jack had a work gathering at their Penasquitos home. I had my 2 year old ring the doorbell… when Jack opened the door, Nicholas put his arms in the air and said Hi Grandpa Jack! Without missing a beat, Jack looked at me, said thanks for stopping by, scooped him up, took my other son, Christopher, by the hand and took them inside… and left me standing there on the front porch. I watched him carry Nicholas through that maze of large fishtanks – talking about the fish in each one. Nick's eyes were full of amazement! What a talented, compassionate, beautiful man that Jack Allen.

So here we are today. I miss my friend. My heart aches and I can’t seem to look at his pictures without crying….. but then I hear his voice…. He’s telling me to stop crying, put on my big girl pants and put a smile on my face. Thank you, Jack. You are always present in my heart and the memories I have from our journey constantly make me smile. Cheers to you my friend, until we meet again.

Teresa, Jackie, Peggy and Jimmy - Bruce and I will be happy to engage in some good old fashioned "Jack time" whenever you need it! Our door is always open to you... we love you all!
Posted by Jan Marie Gore on April 11, 2021
The Pachiano family is grateful to Jack Allen for the love and care he gave his in-laws, Janice and Vince Pachiano through all the years and many family events. We were always able to count on Jack to support the efforts of his extended family to create a pleasant home life. Jack promoted and participated in giving his children, his nieces and nephews an extensive lifetime of activities that left all of us with many happy childhood memories.
His respect and caring for Janice and Vince set an wonderful example for all.
Posted by Joe and Helen Davis on April 11, 2021
I remember when we first met Jack, we didn’t know to say Jack or John - he answered to both We will always remember his laughter, his jokes and his ever loving lighthearted spirit. Jack always found a way to fun. His presence lit up the room just by walking in. When he arrived, you knew it was going to be fun, and with his relaxed demeanor, it always was. Love you Jack.
Posted by William Soo Hoo on April 11, 2021
I met Jack in 2000 working in a small biotech startup. I always appreciated his humor which spanned from raucous and outrageous to good-natured with a gentle, wry wisdom. His scientific knowledge was guided well by this down-to-earth common sense and Jack had this great ability to talk with anyone from the CEO to the janitor and make them feel at ease with his friendly manner. I learned a lot from Jack and I will miss him but I know that One Day I'll see him again! 
Posted by Steven Moses on April 10, 2021
I had the good fortune to meet Jack back in 1992 when he came to work at Viagene. I remember as I was trying to go through our rather lengthy orientation presentation Jack kept interrupting with his thoughts and stories. Normally this would have irked me. However, Jack's lighthearted attitude and vaguely on point amusing stories made the experience less tedious. Jack was always willing to share his thoughts, encourage other employees and try to put a positive spin on whatever challenge we were facing that week. Having left Viagene in 2000 to start my consulting business, I continued to run into Jack, consulting at many of the same companies he was working for. San Diego Biotech is a very incestious. Every time I saw Jack he had his kid's pictures at the ready and regaled me with stories of their achievements or recent sports activities, and of course pictures of the dog. No matter the professional circumstance Jack was always upbeat and shared some positive philosophical outlook on life. The only time I ever saw him down was a few years ago when he shared that his dog had passed. Jack was a good friend and a positive influence to everyone who knew him. We are all richer for having known Jack and impoverished by his passing.  
Posted by Sierra Widman on April 6, 2021
Jack Allen was a part of the San Diego Tropical Fish Society for a few years and we were always in competition. He had such a great attitude, was always cracking jokes and loved talking to the public about fish and fishkeeping. He would always call my tanks LPS, Little plastic sh** ( he was just jealous that I always won People's choice). He will truly be missed but will always remember his smile and personality.

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