|Remembering Alan Allery|
Alan Joseph Allery, director of UND's Student Health Services and director of the National Resource Center on Native American Aging, died July 14 in Bemidji, Minn. He was 59.
Allery, the son of Louis E. and Ermaline (Krebsbach) Allery was born in Cando, N.D., and was a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. He spent his early years on a farm near Calio, N.D., and attended part of his first grade in a rural country school near Calio. The family moved to St. John, N.D., and he then attended school in Rolla and St. John. He was a Boy Scout, served as an altar boy at the St. John Catholic Church for several years, and was active in sports in high school.
He graduated from St. John High School in 1965 and went on to attend college earning a B.S. degree in health/business/physical education from Mayville State University; a M.Ed. in educational administration from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.; a M.H.A. in hospital and health care administration from the University of Minnesota; and a doctoral degree in research and statistics from the University of North Dakota in 1994.
Allery married Margaret DeMers Aug. 2, 1969, in St. John. From 1970 to 1972, he taught business and history and coached basketball in Lansford, N.D., where his son Chris was born. In 1972 and 1973 he worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Belcourt, N.D., where his son Aaron was born. He became assistant area director of the Aberdeen Area Office of the Indian Health service in Aberdeen, S.D., from 1973 to 1984, during which time his daughter Gina was born. He transferred to Bemidji, Minn., and served as area director of the Bemidji area office of the Indian Health Service until 1989. During that time he started the Kentucky Fried Chicken baseball and Bemidji Bomber basketball teams and coached the Bemidji Lions and Northwoods Lumber baseball teams. He worked for Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians where he was the director of the Self-Governance Program from 1990 to 1991.
Allery moved to Grand Forks in 1991 and worked for Native American Programs and Student Health at the University of North Dakota. He married Kathryn Broden Sept. 22, 1995.
He served as the director for the National Resource Center on Native American Aging located in the Center for Rural Health at UND, and the director for student health at UND until his death.
Allery began his career at UND as a grant writer in 1992. Colleagues said he continued to donate his time to assist in grant writing across the University throughout his career.
Since 1998, Allery had overseen the Student Health Service clinic, which provides medical services to students as well as other programs that focus on preventive medicine and responding to student needs.
He also was a leader of the HealthyUND coalition, which brings together University health workers and advocates from across seven designated elements of health, ranging from physical and emotional health so social and spiritual health.
Colleagues credited Allery with bringing diverse coalitions together to serve students' health needs and for his focus on preventive medicine.
"Alan was very good at saying 'we need to get ahead of this, we can't just provide health care in the old way,'" said Lillian Elsinga, associate vice president for student services.
For the past three years, Allery had been working to gain accreditation for Student Health Services, Elsinga said. She said word just arrived last week that the clinic won a three-year accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. "That was a real accomplishment and a crowning achievement on his part," Elsinga said.
Half of Allery's working time at UND was devoted to the National Resource Center on Native Resource Center on Native American Aging, located in UND's Center for Rural Health. The center performs research and outreach for American Indian elderly in tribes across the country.
The center's research and outreach incorporated more than 200 American Indian tribes and was used in many Congressional hearings, said Center for Rural Health Director Mary Wakefield.
"What Alan was interested in was really research in action," Wakefield said, "not research that would sit on a shelf. He wasn't just committed to good research, but to doing research that informed public policy, both on the federal level and by helping local tribes."
American Indian Student Services Director Leigh Jeanotte was a longtime friend of Allery's and worked with him on grants and programs that benefit American Indians. Jeanotte described Allery as a tireless worker on behalf of American Indian issues, through grant writing and other support.
"It's really through his efforts that a lot of American Indian programs got started at UND," Jeanotte said. "His No. 1 goal in life was to make things a whole lot better for American Indian people and he really made a mark on campus."
He was active in many organizations, including the YMCA, where he coordinated the YBL program and played racquetball and noon basketball. He was a board member of the North Central Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.
He loved all sports. Throughout his life he coached kids' basketball and baseball teams and umpired baseball. He faithfully attended UND women's and men's basketball games and many nephews' and nieces' sporting events. He was a diehard Packers fan.
Allery enjoyed spending time with his wife and family, friends and co-workers, especially enjoying schooners at Bonzer's with his friends and Bruce and Trish; telling stories and jokes, playing practical jokes, walking his dogs, Brittney and Kola, spending time at the lake fishing, biking at Itasca, hanging out at the lake on the pontoon, camp fires, and grilling great food on his new "Big green egg."
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn; sons, Chris (Chrissy) Allery, Bemidji, Minn., and Aaron (Amber) Allery, Phoenix, Ariz.; daughter Gina Allery, Washington, D.C.; sisters Paul (Mike) Parisien, St. John, N.D., Marla Boyer, St. John, N.D., and Barb (Wayne) Sande, St. John, N.D.; his mother, Ermaline Allery, St. John, N.D.; grandchildren, Alice and Adam Allery, Phoenix, Ariz.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father Louis E. Allery; grandparents, Joseph and Gertrude Krebsbach and Eugene and Virginia Allery and Kola his faithful walking partner.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, July 20, at the Hope Evangelical Covenant Church, 1601 17th Ave. S., Grand Forks. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Amundson Funeral Home, 2975 S. 42nd St. Interment will be in St. John's Cemetery, St. John, N.D. An online guest book may be signed at www.amundsonfuneralhome.com.