La Cañada Flintridge Calif. - Allen Lund Company continues to mourn the loss of their leader, D. Allen Lund, a community pillar and noted philanthropist, who died following a brief battle with cancer. He was 77.
Allen died Saturday morning, April 7, 2018, at his home in Pasadena with his large family at his bedside and a small choir of Carmelite Sisters singing around him.
“Dad had a lot of roles throughout his life and he excelled at all of them because of his humility, faith, and approachability. He was a tremendous father, husband, grandfather, CEO, Chairman of the Board, leader, counselor, and coach. We will work hard to honor his legacy,” stated David, Kenny and Eddie Lund.
In the hours before his death, he was asked by a grandchild how he felt. His response, “Wonderful.” Allen’s tremendous life and peaceful death were exactly as he stated, wonderful by any measure. His was a life rich in family, faith, and successes.
He leaves behind his adored wife of 57 years, Kathleen “Kathie” Lund. The couple have six children: David Lund (Helen), Kenneth Lund (Mary), Edward Lund (Alicia), Natalie (Lund) Peterson (Kirk), Anna (Lund) Clapp (Mike), and Christina (Lund) Doerfler (Steve).
Allen was blessed with twenty-two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his two sisters, Katie Atkin (Salt Lake City, UT) and Judy Holtkamp (Gold Beach, OR).
Allen was born September 3, 1940, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He approached life with an incredible work ethic and saw the American Dream play out as a result.
After graduating from Davis County High School, Allen met Kathie while working as a ride operator at the Lagoon Amusement Park. They then began the ride of a lifetime when they were married July 16, 1960. Allen initially worked in heavy equipment operations, while also serving in the U.S. Army Reserve for seven years. He then shifted gears and began working for a produce and truck brokerage company in Salt Lake City. Employment opportunities led Kathie and Allen to transfer to Glendale, California in 1969.
Allen was soon inspired to work for himself and set out on his own. This move was not borne of pride but from a capable character. In 1976, with a shaky $1000 in his bank account and the goal of feeding his family, Allen founded the Allen Lund Company, a truck brokerage firm. Now, headquartered in La Cañada, CA the Allen Lund Company has offices in 34 cities with 470 employees brokering 365,000 truckloads annually.
As business thrived, Allen came to be recognized as a leader in the transportation industry, with a league of employees working with him, not for him. Honors and awards included the prestigious Transportation Intermediaries Association Heritage Award from his peers in 1999. Allen received the 2006 Achievement Award and the 2009 Business Person of the Year from the city of La Cañada Flintridge.
Allen’s expertise in his field was acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1993, when he was tapped to travel to Moscow to assist the former Soviet Union’s new government in forming a more orderly distribution of food to the citizenry.
In business, Allen had one doubt: naming the company after himself. His concern was this would be taken as conceit, and a chance to see his name on a building. Simply not the case. However, his name is on the building to show that his word was his bond. His very name was on the line each time he entered a commitment to provide excellence in service.
Allen’s understated generosity was well known and he never missed an opportunity to give back to his community. He was generous with all of his resources - time, talent, his natural inclination towards clear, rational thinking and genuine grit.
As a staunch proponent of Catholic education, Allen served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at St. Francis High School, President of the Board of Regents at the University of Portland, and as Trustee on the Board for the Catholic Education Foundation of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Lund Family Scholarship, established by Allen, benefits students from St. Francis High School and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy who attend the University of Portland. Contributions to the University of Portland also include the Campus Bell Tower, the St. John’s Bible housed in the University’s Clark Library, and the Lund Family Residence Hall.
Allen practiced his faith through a commitment of self, serving as the Chairman of the Board for the Magis Institute, an organization created to design special programs to address the need for spirituality in public life.
He also served on the Finance Council for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Board of Directors of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, and on the Board of Directors of Homeboy Industries, the latter an organization committed to rehabilitating former gang members through the dignity of work.
Allen’s belief in the power of prayer was so strong that together with Kathie and close friends he launched the annual Los Angeles Catholic Prayer Breakfast in 2005. Every September, The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels hosts a Tuesday morning rosary, Mass, and inspirational speaker for the Los Angeles community. It is now the largest Catholic Prayer Breakfast in the country.
Allen’s honors for his philanthropic contributions and committed service to Christ and the Church included the designation of a Knight in Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and receiving the Papal Honor of Knight Commander in the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory.
Outside of his public life, Allen’s greatest role was as his family patriarch. He was happiest when with them all, entertaining at his Pasadena home or riding ATVs at his Long Canyon Ranch in Utah.
Despite the size of his family, each child and grandchild attests to an individual relationship with their grandfather. Every girl was given a kiss when she walked to his chair in his study, each boy an honest handshake.
As Allen’s health failed, emails and letters flooded in from friends and those of even brief acquaintance. All said much of the same: Allen Lund was a giant of a man who gave and gave wholly. His was a life aiming for heaven, and he did everything he could to make it possible here first.
The life he led was one at which to wonder. Or as the man himself put it, it was wonderful.
A rosary will be held at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pasadena on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Saturday, April 14 at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Carmelite Sisters who ushered Allen peacefully into heaven; The Carmelite Sisters, Sacred Heart Retreat House, 920 East Alhambra Road, Alhambra, California 91801.