The freak tornado in Salt Lake City last month claimed one of Las Vegas’ finest. Allen Crandy, in typical Allen fashion, skipped lunch to make sure the booths at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market were up to par. His failure to join his co-workers for lunch cost him his life and it cost those of us that knew him a friend and a role model.
Allen and his wife, Jan, were a part of the Nevada Business Journal family and previously handled the design and layout of the magazine. We could always count on the Crandy’s to meet our deadlines (which is a feat in itself) and deliver a quality magazine. As an integral part of the team, they went the extra mile and did whatever was necessary to make sure the magazine was the finest in the state.
It was not unusual for Allen to personally deliver drafts of the magazine to our office after normal working hours…and he always did it with a huge smile. But what was truly amazing, was that no matter how many changes we made on the magazine, the smile never diminished.
Jan and Allen were a team in every sense of the word. They shared the responsibilities of two children, a thriving business and enjoyed a truly exceptional relationship. When you saw them together, you got the feeling they were newlyweds even though they had been married for almost 13 years. Jan told us shortly after the tragedy that
Allen “was the love of my life.” And, anyone that knew Allen, knew the feeling was mutual.
The Crandy’s commitment to each other was closely followed by their commitment to their children, John, Megan and Jeni. The couple’s youngest daughter, Megan, is autistic. She was the motivating force behind their involvement in issues concerning autistic children. Together, they formed Families for Effective Treatment of Autism (FEAT), an organization dedicated to helping families with autistic children.
While the Crandy’s spent countless hours working with Megan, they spent just as many helping other families with autistic children. Dozens of local families came to rely on Allen and Jan for information and support. Last year Allen testified on behalf of an assembly bill that outlawed the use of negative aversive methods to deal with autistic children in schools.
Allen made a difference. The result of his hard work and tenacity will have a positive impact on hundreds of autistic children for generations to come. But he refused to take credit for his successes. Even his own sister was unaware of his legislative testimony until she read about it in the paper after his death.
Allen was my hero. He represents that which is gentle, kind, intelligent and compassionate. His untimely death leaves a void for myself and hundreds of Southern Nevadans who had the opportunity to know him. While our loss is not nearly as great as Jan’s, her words, “ I’m thankful for the time I had with him,” is shared by all who had to good fortunate to know him.