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




From Kiko Cuyler:

Thanks for passing on the sad news about Sabu....I did not know him well but I do recall we worked together on occasion as Valentine Hall waiters.  I recall him as having a quiet, but strong, personality. 

From Gerry Benson: 

I was very friendly with Sabu.  We were a triumverate along with Tom (Tomar) Atkinson.  Unfortunately, my specific memories of him are quite limited other than we had a great deal of fun together.  We were in the "Pre-Law Club" which really didn't exist but I can assure you that we had some very unique discussions.

From Dick Slavin: 

With a heavy heart I write this: Losing two of my close friends and fraternity "buds" in such a short time is saddening. . I regret that we did not see each other after graduation or in Roger Clark's case after our stint in the USAF. Both were outstanding  individuals though different. Roger, extremely bright, rational,and quite fun loving, and Sabu one of my DU roommates, who 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. It also helped that he was "of age" and did not require any sort of "faux identification" that others might have required. Good times were had at Amherst in large part due to my friend and roommate Allen ("Sabu") Burns.

From Jim Brayer:

Sabu and I were roommates at the DU house for our Junior & Senior years. He was different from, what might have been to some, his campus image. He was a very kind, considerate, compassionate man who cared deeply about people. Yes - he had and created a lot of fun but, deep down, he was a caring man's man.

Our delegation at DU took on, as our pledge project, some renovations of the basement bar. One project was tiling the floor. Sabu and I drove out into the country to the tile warehouse to decide upon & purchase the tiles. In the process, the warehouse owner asked me if we were from a fraternity and if, by chance, I would like a dog for free and showed us both the liter - Sabu and I picked out one sleeping pup and brought him back to the house to calls of "Brayer & Sabu have a dog!!”. Then, the process began to name him. Yes, he was the campus well known "Goose".who sired a dog population in the town, went to chapel with me, lead to several calls to me from the Campus Police telling me to come get him from Valentine, etc. For the summers of '53 and '54 we left him with Casey, the DU caretaker, and Goose lived on for an additional 12 years under the Casey family care.

Unfortunately, we lost contact after graduation, but my Amherst days’ memories of Sabu obviously have remained with me. 

From Gordie Forbes:

I respected Sabu Burns! We were teammates in LaCrosse together and he was a positive and effective fellow defenseman!