Amherst Magazine

Allen A. Burns '55

Deceased October 9, 2013

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In Memory

Allen was born March 16, 1932, in New York City and died on Oct. 9, 2013, after suffering a massive stroke. Allen prepped at Deerfield Academy and entered Amherst in 1949 with the Class of 1953. He and several other classmates joined a Marine Reserve outfit that was activated during the Korean War. Allen was a member of Delta Upsilon and a positive and effective defenseman on the lacrosse team.

We are not sure where Allen picked up the nickname “Sabu,” but that is what he was called during his college days. Roommate Dick Slavin relates that Sabu “enjoyed the social life but was also a very smart individual whose intelligence might have gone unnoticed unless you were a close friend. Sabu was our social director and as such provided us with the tools to have outstanding events.”

Jim Brayer was also a roommate at DU with Sabu. He remembers their pledge project was tiling the floor of the basement bar. Jim and Sabu drove out into the country to decide upon and purchase the tiles. While there, the warehouse owner asked the two if they would like a free dog. So Sabu and Jim picked out one sleeping pup and brought him back to DU to calls of “Brayer and Sabu have a dog!” The pup became the well known “Goose” around the campus.

Sabu’s business career covered everything from industrial sales to owning a scuba diving company to owning three saloons. Later on, Sabu owned an 80-acre ranch southeast of Denver, where he raised horses and grew grass and hay for sale. His business partner described Sabu as “kind, thoughtful, caring, generous and sweet. He had an individual and humanistic spirit, so he did not want any fanfare, noise or bother at his death.”

> Rob Sowersby ’55

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