History column: Life, work of longtime Dells lawyer admirable
August 26. 2014 1:12PM
When preparing to write this article I had an idea in my mind. A direction I wanted to go, the topic and the sort of information I was looking for. In the end, what I learned was an unexpected pleasure.
As a young man Allen Brown, like many his age, wasn’t sure of his future. He earned his way through college by working at L.G. Everist. After two years Allen joined the military. When he returned home, with two years left on the G.I. Bill, Allen went back to school and then continued his education in law, graduating in 1961. Bill Vogt offered him a job and, as they say in the movies, “the rest is history.”
Currently Allen practices primarily in estate planning, probate, real estate and income tax. Allen didn’t tell me much about his duties as a lawyer. What he told me were the privileges of his job.
Allen told me a bit about his duties, the estate planning, the taxes and such. But what really stood out was his concern in helping a family through a difficult time after the death of a spouse or family member. When a family member dies the feelings of grief doesn’t just go away after the funeral. It takes time and Allen is there till the end. There is no rush, no time limitations, whenever you are ready, Allen is there. He is there to hold your hand as long as it takes.
When Allen began his career there was no CPA’s in Dell Rapids. A local farmer would come to him to have their taxes completed. Today, the farming industry has become much more complex. Today farmers are much more diversified; stocks, bonds and investments. He can help you with all those needs.
I was more impressed when he spoke of the generations of farmers that he has helped. To this day, he has clients come in and request his services, simply because Allen helped their father and their grandfather. He has earned their trust. I suspect in the years to come the children of Allen’s clients will also approach him for assistance. Who else would they turn to?
After being an attorney for more than 53 years, many have asked Allen his plans for retirement. Currently, he has no immediate plans. He has the support of his family, his friends, his clients and his colleagues to continue a career that he loves. He enjoys it so why quit? We can’t all say that.
As I mentioned before, I had an idea of what I wanted to know about Allen Brown, a local Dell Rapids attorney. In turn I learned about a humanitarian who also happens to be an attorney.
Melvin Jones, founder of the Lions Club International, once said, “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.” Allen, a Lions Club member for 50 years, took that to heart. He told me, “Nothing good ever happens unless you work hard at it.” Over the years he had worked hard to serve his God, his family and his community. He has served well!
After living in Dell Rapids much of his life, practicing law over a span of a lifetime, I asked Allen, “What is your dream job?” He thought about it a bit, but in his heart he always knew the answer.
“I am doing it.”