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John Allen

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John Allen Obituary
Allen, John Passed away peacefully at home on January 20, 2013 after a long battle with cancer that he fought with a combination of stubbornness and a positive, just won't give up attitude. He was 76 years old. John was born in Mankato, Minnesota and grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota. John graduated from Indiana University Law School, moved to Chicago and went to work at Mayer Brown, LLP, a large international law firm where he specialized in partnership, corporate and real estate investment work. In 1980, John left Mayer Brown to co-found AMLI Realty Co., where he served as President for over 20 years. AMLI, the company John co-founded, is an amazing success story. Started as a small two person office, AMLI grew into two separate large real estate development, management and investment businesses. AMLI Commercial Properties Trust was an office/industrial company headquartered in Chicago that developed office parks in Atlanta and Chicago and was sold in 2001. AMLI Residential Properties Trust, headquartered in Chicago, is a large, branded, multifamily REIT doing business in 9 different markets with a large presence in the Chicago area. AMLI Residential went public in an IPO in 1994 and was listed on the NYSE. AMLI went private again in 2006. John Allen was a consummate real estate professional smart, perceptive and with an incredible sense of how to get a deal done so that both sides felt good about how things turned out. John had an uncanny ability to take the most complicated of structures, deals and objectives and simplify all that complexity into an agreement. Under John's leadership and as a result of his hard work, both AMLI's thrived during his tenure as President. John Allen was critical and central to all of AMLI's growth and successes. Countless AMLI employees, both past and present, have named John as one of the most important inspirations in their lives. John Allen was a wonderful person with a million dollar smile. John was kind, witty, and considerate - a great friend and a good man. The values and ethics that John instilled in AMLI helped create the company culture now known as the AMLI Famli. After retiring from AMLI, John continued to lead a full and rich life with many interests together with Carolyn, his wife of 19 years. John's lifelong love of learning flourished in retirement as he tirelessly went on a learning expedition virtually every single day. John and Carolyn were world travelers, visiting all 7 continents, all 50 states and 77 countries. Using their travels as background, John and Carolyn became champion photographers and had award winning pictures from their visits to places like Antarctica, the Galapagos, Africa, Vietnam and New Zealand to name a few. Survivors include his wife, Carolyn; two sons, Tom (Beth Levison) and Tim (Jessica Spring), and two daughters, Tracy and Teri (Matt McDonough). John was the proud grandfather of Simone, Noah, Jack, Grady, Peyton and Shea and the brother of Jim (Priscilla). John was predeceased by his sister, Dorothy and brother, Bob. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to either The Gateway for Cancer Research, 1336 Basswood Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173, or Midwest Palliative & Hospice Care Center, 2050 Claire Court Glenview, IL 60025.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 23, 2013
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