Tributes

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I’ve known Allen since I was five years old. As a young boy, my sister and I took Spanish lessons from Nita at their home. I remember this being one of my favorite parts of the week. I’m sure the copious amounts of cinnamon hot chocolate and cookies helped forge these memories in my mind.

Every once in a while, I would see a shadowy figure moving through their home. He was a long, slender, mysterious man who I knew went by the name of Allen, but somehow his presence was bigger than life itself.

I remember truly discovering who Allen was the first time he sat down at his black shiny grand piano and effortlessly graced the keys with his fingers. I realized then he was the coolest man I had ever met. My young mind was in awe with every movement he made, every calculated word he spoke, and every song he played. To this day I have yet to meet someone with as much bravado and charm as Allen. I deeply admire his ability to captivate an audience and demand absolute focus during a conversation.

Over the years, Allen and I have shared adventures and gone on excursions, yet my most cherished memories come from sitting in his house deep in thought-provoking conversation for hours on end.

I’ve learned so much from Allen, especially in the art of communication. He taught me what it means to truly listen and be empathetic, as well as how to articulate thoughts with impact.

He is an amazing teacher, always offering correction without hesitation and without judgment. At first, I found this very intimidating. I scrambled my words or avoided verbal land mines during conversations. I can’t even recall the number of times he caught me saying “me and my friends” and gently correct me to say “my friends and I."

Simple acts like this are what I’ve learned to love so much about Allen. He truly cares about the betterment of others. I’ve always felt he wants me to become the absolute best version of myself and, with his help, I feel I am on the right track.

Allen is my mentor, my teacher in the ways of life but, above all, a dear friend who I love and cherish.

Tommy Oleson

I still remember the first day I met Allen.

It was the middle of winter. We had six inches of snow on the ground, and my nephews and I were sledding down our steep driveway. Allen walked in our direction, holding an impressive camera and lens. He asked if he could photography the boys having fun in the snow. I was delighted and even more thrilled when Allen emailed me his work. Today, his beautiful image hangs proudly in our home--the highest quality work of art.

That was the beginning of a rich friendship. Today, I speak freely to Allen, sharing the things I seldom reveal, including my most intimate thoughts. I stay in touch because, frankly, Allen is my trusted mentor. I'm thankful for our friendship.

Recently, I joined a prominent real estate agency, and I asked Allen to create a professional portrait for me. He kindly accepted, and we immediately setup the photoshoot. I have no words to explain how well the shoot went. Even though I'm confident by nature, Allen's image doubled my composure and boldness. One day, I will look back on my professional career and know that Allen had a positive influence in building my success.

Here's to Allen: a master in art and life.

Karan Sandhu

Allen Johnson is a curious fellow. There is nothing he won't explore. Aviation? He's done that. Painting? He's done that. Music? He's done that. Photography? He's done that. Writing? He's done that. Because of his curiosity and his eagerness to explore so much, I have given him the nickname The Renaissance Man. Allen is one of the finest people I have the privilege of knowing. He's my friend!

Terry Barber

I have read all of Allen’s books, newspaper columns, and FaceBook posts. I have been in his home several times, he in mine. I’ve seen him perform in nightclub settings, have watched dozens of movies on the big screen with him, attended numerous of his community discussion groups, was an original in one of his men’s groups, and have cherished his supportive gestures for many years. He’s awesome!

Allen Brecke

Allen Johnson is a passionate, dedicated, and cultured man who is knowledgeable, educated, and proficient in a wide range of disciplines. As a videographer, he professionally documented for posterity musicians like my mother Hilda Joseph of the 1940’s all-girl band The Victory Sweethearts and more recently Martin Gerschwitz of Iron Butterfly legacy.

Allen’s still photography has been illustrated in prestigious magazines and his wildlife shots are breathtaking. His pictures of our pets and family over 20 years adorn the walls of our home.

Musically, Allen is versatile and gifted. Not only does Allen excel on the saxophone, trumpet, piano, guitar, and other instruments with skill and expertise, but his singing is melodic and exceptional. He has started many musical groups and often hosts jam sessions in his home for the neighborhood.

As a psychologist, Allen is compassionate, empathetic, and insightful, giving others his professional insights when asked. Politically, Allen is enlightened, progressive, and well versed in current events. As a writer, Allen’s multiple books are articulate, engrossing, and fun to read. His clean, clear, and concise prose reflects how well he speaks to others.

We are gifted and blessed to have him as a friend, neighbor, and colleague, as Allen Johnson is one of the rare Renaissance men of our era.

Alan Joseph

The rich sweep and diversity of Allen Johnson’s talents and accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable. Jazz musician, novelist and short-story writer, essayist, actor, public speaker extraordinaire, daring mountaineer and scuba-diver, sensitive mentor, inspiring teacher, painter with a palette of joy, master photographer, committed philosopher, ethicist, and world traveler to boot. If this list seems hyperbolic, to me it feels like only the faintest outline of the vital, warm, compassionate individual I have known and admired for more than forty years since we were both volunteer teachers in a remote mountain village in Algeria. Creativity courses jubilantly through the man’s blood. He is, quite frankly, a national treasure.

Gene Parulis

Allen and I have been friends for nearly 50 years. Included in our friendship, we have collaborated on a number of musical projects that involved mutual professional performance as well as being my ‘right arm’ in productions involving my high school & middle school choral students. Allen’s ‘touch’ to these performances were of significance and I will be forever grateful for his assistance. He not only assisted me in the direction of these productions, he was behind the photography - in that he provided the head and shoulder photos needed for the programs. And speaking of photography -Allen’s photographs are stunning and I have looked forward to his social media posts that include his latest ‘shot’, and now with this website that will contain his photos in an easy, accessible platform- is really exciting.

I could go on and on about my friend Allen Johnson. He is talented and inspirational in so many ways. His books, short stories, - anything that showcases his writing will not disappoint. During the days of early covid, Allen produced many thought- provoking videos…again, I’m excited that all of his work will be organized in one handy place to find and view.

Take the time to investigate Allen’s website. You will find a man of integrity, love, joy, talent, inspirational, wise teacher, etc - his life’s work contained in one spot. Go Allen! Go us!!

Debi Eng

As a jazz author and blogger, I am always looking for new ideas and exciting content. I came upon Allen's book "Athena's Piano" on social media and knew I had to interview him. His is a fresh and very original voice that handles music, love, betrayal and a time jump with grace. He obviously had done a lot of research into the Jazz Age time period to craft such a beautiful story. I love his use of language: lush and descriptive in perfect proportion.

Debbie Burke
Author of Icarus Flies Home and Glissando, A Story of Love, Lust and Jazz

I have known Allen Johnson for 55 years first as an English teacher and drama director, then later as an author, photographer, musician and fellow bike rider. I have read all his books and his latest, “Athena’s Piano” is his best yet. With Intrigue, Jazz infusion and romance, it has all the makings for a break out best seller.

Brian Pat King
Author Ammunition 357

At the conclusion of the program, it was as if a mystical bond of some sort had been created among the participants. We were all touched and transformed by the seminar. It was a rare experience.

Hon. Frank E. Moss
Former United States Senator from Utah

Allen Johnson packs a double-barrel wallop. He can enthrall a huge audience with laughter and insight or pull up his sleeves and help a small group become a team. He’s not just good; he’s the best.

Gaylon Whiteside
Director of Store Operations
Pay ‘n Save Drug Stores, Inc.

Your presentation was a real show-stopper. Everyone left the conference on an emotional high thanks to your inspiring words. The standing ovation was indeed spontaneous and sincere—a clear indication of how we all felt.

Marie K. O’Connell
President
Washington State Municipal Clerks

We have succeeded in bringing to our professionals the most celebrated “names” in the business, including Mike Vance, Dennis Waitley, Ken Blanchard, Buck Rodgers, Art Linkletter. All of these programs have been constructive and well received, but no one has done a better job of connecting with our audience than you did. It was a wonderful combination of message and messenger.

Bill Halamandaris
President
Foundation for Hospice and Homecare

Thank you for making our Quality Month program a big hit. Your presentation was superb. It was a clear message on customer satisfaction—delivered with humor and audience participation—just what we asked for.

Gloria Richter-Simon
Director of Training
Warner Lambert Company

I have had the pleasure of knowing Allen for more than 25 years. He has been a trusted friend and mentor, helping to guide me and grow me through some of the most challenging times of my life. I appreciate his willingness to always share his knowledge and wisdom; he's what I would call a "growth friend" — someone who challenges you to be your best self, gently encourages you and cheers you on from the sidelines, and loves you enough to tell you when you've messed up and need some correcting. To me, friends like that are the most treasured and rare, and I certainly treasure Allen and everything he's added to my life. Here's to many more years of friendship!

Derek Munson
Partner/VP of Media Production
Underground Creative

I would like to commend you for your outstanding performance. Evaluations of the training by our participants were absolutely stellar! Totally reenergized, members departed with a renewed sense of mission in their lives.

Susan E. Johnson
Education Services Specialist
Department of the Army

Allen and I met in the spring of 2021, after each of us had contracted with Boroughs Publishing Group. New to working with a publisher and set to release novels in the fall, we used the buddy system to get through the process. Since then, we’ve become good friends who exchange ideas, advice, frustrations, and moral support with an easy repartee.
I most admire Allen’s ability to craft beautiful stories about whatever strikes him at a particular moment. His style lets the words flow off the page in a lyrical, conversational manner that seems effortless. Characters come to life, and you’d think he’d known them for years when he may have had a ten-minute conversation with them in passing. To me, Allen is an incredibly insightful and gifted storyteller that I am proud to know.

Jennifer Peer
Author of The Last Bloom

I met Allen when I was around fourteen years old. I was kind of a knucklehead kid on track to becoming a knucklehead adult. My mom and Allen's mom were friends, and when she heard that Allen was coaching springboard diving during his summer home from UW, she signed me up.

I lived at the Pasco swimming pool during the summer anyway, so when mom told me she'd signed me up for diving lessons, I was really excited. I had no idea she had actually signed me up for mentoring. Allen took me under his wing that summer. I remember specifically riding with him to get his music equipment set up at a venue he was playing and the super cool bowler hat he had.

We lost touch some over the years but the connection Allen made with me that summer would never be lost. I think I was in my mid-twenties when I heard Allen had written The Power Within, and I reached out to him. I had been working with at risk youth for a few years, and I couldn't wait to share with him that I didn't end up a complete knucklehead!

I remember getting an autographed copy of The Power Within that I still have today. That work became part of the blueprint for how I have tried to live my life. Allen and I have kept in touch intermittently over the years. He has been there for me in some of my darkest days, and he is one of the first people I think of when I want to share an accolade or a milestone.

Allen's life has been a portrait of self-discipline and self-actualization that is rare today and now, in my thirty-five years as a teacher, counselor, coach and mentor, I have often shared with my students, my clients, and my mentees about this class act man named Allen Johnson, his work, and his profound impact on my life.

Allen: meeting you changed the trajectory of my life.

William R. Keizer
Founder, I Did the Time
Frontline Professional Development

I would like to commend you for your outstanding performance. Evaluations of the training by our participants were absolutely stellar! Totally reenergized, members departed with a renewed sense of mission in their lives.

Susan E. Johnson
Education Services Specialist
Department of the Army

I would like to commend you for your outstanding performance. Evaluations of the training by our participants were absolutely stellar! Totally reenergized, members departed with a renewed sense of mission in their lives.

Susan E. Johnson
Education Services Specialist
Department of the Army

I would like to commend you for your outstanding performance. Evaluations of the training by our participants were absolutely stellar! Totally reenergized, members departed with a renewed sense of mission in their lives.

Susan E. Johnson
Education Services Specialist
Department of the Army

I have known Allen Johnson all of my life. He has not only been a friend, but a confidant, instructor in photography, and life in general. He is truly talented in so many aspects from writing novels, artistic painting and photography, musician and singer, entertainer, and counselor. I recall one event in his life of a political debate in French, not his first language. A role model for all.

Basil Katsaros

Going back to high school, I remember our waterskiing days on the Snake River, laughing together at his family home, and being introduced to the side of Allen, I didn’t know … the entertainer. Acting, singing, and playing his trumpet in various high school venues.

Twenty-five years later, high school friendships were rekindled because of Allen. He was the initiator of PHS mini-reunions. Reunions with the purpose of connecting us deeply. I am grateful for his investment into these relationships and will forever appreciate him for that.

D'Ova Siemers

I am writing to contribute to the many accolades and expressions of appreciation for Allen Johnson's wonderful photos. Mr. Johnson has such a gift for seeing the world as a beautiful and miraculous gift, with its many moods and opportunities for revelation. Allen finds a way to show us what a magical thing the changing light can be, and captures wildlife and landscape with an artist's eye. His photographs truly bring joy and wonder.

I would also like to mention Mr. Johnson's writing. He has the ability to take a reader on a journey into the lives and thoughts of his characters, and put us into the picture with his descriptive prose and wonderful dialogue. I have enjoyed his stories immensely, and look forward to his next book with great anticipation.

Mr. Johnson has a unique ability to write opinion pieces and thought provoking essays, and whether short or long, his writings have lifted me up, made me laugh, and given me so much to ponder. I admire his optimistic view of humanity, and his articulate encouragement to us all to be the best we can be. I do appreciate so much anyone who can see the foibles and failures of our species, and still find joy and love to share, and inspire others to do the same. Mr. Johnson is a light in the darkness, and I for one, am grateful that he has chosen to share so much of his light in an ever darkening world.

Susan Coast

I find Allen to be a gifted writer , as I have read several of his offerings (newspaper articles,books, short stories and blogs)....I have enjoyed his discriptive style.. I have appreciated his photography...even been with him on some of his "shoots" in eastern Washington locations. He seems to have a real knack in capturing some wildlife scenes and actually enhancing their beauty.. He is a treasured friend who will not hesitate to tell you the truth as he sees it.. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to pay tribute to Allen and or his work..

Bill Leonard

Allen Johnson is a visionary architect of social interaction opportunities. He is co-founder of the Reflection Cafe discussion group. The Cafe is modeled after the European salon concept - persons gathering together for food and drink to discuss a predetermined topic. The Cafe went for many years until the gatherings were ended by covid. The Cafe attracted 15 - 35 people each session with over 100 on the mailing list.

Allen also founded a dinner group called M-7. This is a group of 7 men, chosen by Allen, many of whom did not know each other prior to M-7. Though M-7 has had a few changes in membership, it has continued twice a month for about 10 years with great conversations and growing friendships.

Ed Frost

Inspirational, exciting, positive, challenging. The standing ovation from over 1,000 surely indicated the overwhelming positive response.

Judi Kosterman, Ph.D.
Principal
Kennewick School District

Dr. Allen Johnson. WOW! What can I say about this man? To know him is to love him! He has the kindest eyes in the universe (although he will argue that his beautiful wife of, like 100 years, holds that title) and a heart to match. He has spent his life in a constant pursuit of growth, and he shares his knowledge with anyone willing to listen. He doesn’t know how to give anything less than 100% no matter the task. He is an excellent musician, author, photographer, artist, entertainer… all these talents are overshadowed by nothing but his loyalty and friendship. I am a better person for knowing this man, and I will forever be grateful that he is a part of my life!! I hope that’s not too long! Thank you for helping him with this project! He deserves every ounce of recognition.

Dr Julie Chambers DC, CICE

Allen has enriched my life in countless ways--I have loved his musical performances, his news articles, his photography--but most of all, I have loved the group discussions he has led with friends from Pasco, and friends from France. Long may you shine, Allen.

Roberta Lewandowski

You were spectacular!!!. The crowd was so involved in your presentation and the comments have been 100% positive. It could not have been more perfect. You are definitely the best!!!

Rebecca McCurdy
General Manager-Customer Operations
Verizon

Dr. Johnson brings to any company innovation, creativity, and a new potential for organizational development.

L.G. Brown
Executive Director
Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports

The standing ovation you received spoke for itself. Everyone wanted to know how to get in touch with you for future engagements.

Carol Langston
President
Washington State Court Administration

Allen Johnson is the best presenter that I have had the privilege to witness. He exudes a serene confidence and command of his thoughts and actions with small and large audiences alike.

Craig E. Anderson
Vice President and Chief Engineer
ICF Kaiser

Thank you for everything! You came through for us in a big way. I’m still beaming from your visit; it was great. I’ll always remember the experience of your visit and the keynote on a principle-centered life.

John Sheehan
Director of Training
Westwood Squibb

You were marvelous! That’s what I heard over and over from people who had the pleasure of seeing your presentation at our annual meeting in Seattle. And I agree. You had impact! The 600-plus people who heard your high-energy presentation will definitely remember this experience.

Ron Newman
General Marketing Manager
Washington Natural Gas

Allen is about the most well-rounded person I know. Gifted in so many ways, he is a credit and role model to all. Whether it's music, photography, writing or whatever, Allen always seems to do it the right way. To blend that talent with a genuine concern for others is simply a life well lived. I tip my hat.

Charles Morgan
Former school counselor at Kennewick High School
Kennewick, Washington

What a DYNAMIC PRESENTATION! You were a real hit. You made me feel proud too. When you saw me in the audience smiling from ear to ear, it was because I was looking around at everyone else who was really enjoying you and your presentation. I was saying to myself, “We did it. We picked the right guy when we picked Dr. Johnson as our seminar speaker. I was so pleased and proud to see the STANDING OVATION after the presentation.

Nancy A. Simons
State President
Washington State Association of Life Underwriters

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