Wednesday, August 6, 2014

William Allan Kew

My dad, William Allan Kew (known as Allan) was born August 6, 1932 in Geneva, Illinois, to William Arthur Kew and Etta Lucille Taylor.

 His birth certificate states that his father was 42 years old and was an auditor for Westinghouse Electric Co. and his mother was a housewife. The mailing address at the time of his birth was 635 Hill Avenue, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He had one sister, Muriel Lucille Kew (who Suzzy called Aunt Moo) who was about 17 years older than Allan.

He grew up in various areas of Illinois, including Carmi, and moved to Phoenix Arizona when he was a teenager.

He finished his high school years at Phoenix Union High School, graduating in 1951.

Allan was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict on January 12, 1953 and served two years in Italy, running the military service canteen.

When he returned to Phoenix, he completed his education at Arizona State College of Tempe, now known as Arizona State University, and graduated from there in May of 1958 with a Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Drafting and Design.

He first met Barbara (Nano) in June of 1955, when they were both working that Summer at the Industrial Commission of Arizona. They each thought the other was in a steady relationship, so they just talked to each other as coworkers. One day, Allan asked Barbara if she would be interested in going on a blind date. The "blind date" for Barbara was Allan himself. He took her to dinner at Macayo's Mexican Restaurant and then went to see the movie "I'll Never Stop Loving You." They dated often during the Summer,

Notice, Nathan, that Nano and my dad had matching outfits, made by Nano

and one day in August, Allan said to Barbara, "Will you marry me?" She said "yes". They became officially engaged on June 14, 1956 when they went out to eat at Sky Harbor Restaurant and he handed her the engagement ring right at the table. They were married exactly one year later. On their wedding day, Allan wanted Barbara to have the new watch he had purchased, However, since it was bad luck for the bride and groom to see eath other before the wedding, he took it to her neighbor's house across the street, and they delivered it to Barbara.
Pictured from left to right
Bill Hart (Nano's stepfather, John Hart (Nano's brother), Tutu, Nano (Barbara), Dad (Allan), Etta Taylor Kew, Muriel Kew, and Uncle Carl Taylor 

After Allan's graduation, he was offered a position in the Advertising Department of Yellow Front stores, where he had been working as a stock boy during school. He helped create three ads that were published weekly in the newspaper. A few years later, he was asked to head this department. Later, he worked as a Field Representative, creating new Yellow Front stores in California, Washington, Idaho, New Mexico, and Texas.

After nearly three years of marriage, they became expectant parents, and Suzanne was born the afternoon of July 4, 1960. They wanted more children, but it was not to be, so they decided to adopt, and after many months of waiting, Scott Allan was born on May 20, 1964 and joined their home when he was two weeks old. They tried again and Sharynn Louise, born on July 6, 1966, joined their home ten days later. Allan took care of the children as babies just as if it was second nature to him, even though he hadn't been around children. He loved to have birthday parties and Easter egg hunts. He lofed haveing them dress up for Halloween and take them out for trick or treating. He just loved Christmas and would often go out on Christmas Eve to purchase more gifts after all the gifts were under the tree, thinking there just weren't enough.

Church was very meaningful for Allan and Barbara. In the early years of their marriage, they attended North Congregational Church (known as The Church of the Beatitudes), and later, The First Baptist Church. They were faily happy at both churches, but it seemed as though they were always searching for the real church. They talked with their neighbors, Sid and Rita Mitchell, because they knew they were Mormon and were interested in finding out about that church. They arranged for missioneraries to come to the Kew home, and the gospel was shared with them. Allan was baptized with Barbara on March 16, 1974. He always said it was one of the happiest days of his life. The family was sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple on November 5, 1976.

All his life, Allan struggled with hypertension. At the age of 37, he suffered a stroke, which initially left him completely paralyzed on his left side. Remarkably, he was able to regain most of the strength back in his arm and leg and was able to return to work about three months later. In his 45th year of life, he was plagued with kidney disease and the many complications that high blood pressure can present, and he died after a series of prolonged hospitalizations on September 4, 1977.

One of Allan's favorite dishes was one his mother made for him: meatballs with mushroom soup over white rice. He also loved browned pork chops baked with saurkraut on top, with applesauce on the side. He loved snacking, favoring pretzel sticks, sugared orange slices and Three Musketeers candy bars. He never was a fan of vegetables, though he would eat corn, green beans and peas. His favorite dessert was Germann Chocolate cake. In his later years, he so enjoyed going out to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant: El Tango.

Allan loved to create things with his hands. He loved building models, both of his architectural plans as well as automobiles. He was an expert with ceramics in high school and always enjoyed making something, whether cuff links from marbles to doll houses, complete with elevator. He also loved purchasing cars, fixing them up, and selling them. Not a restoration, but a repair. He loved Frank Loyd Wright architecture and driving out to Arizona State University to admire Grady Gammage Auditorium.

I remember that my dad went to everything. He was their for choir performances, band concerts and sat on a ball field watching two and sometimes three games at once. He was there for plays and football games. I never ever did anything that my dad and mom didn't attend.

Happy Birthday, Dad. This year you would have been 82!

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