Alan Francis McAllister, 68,of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina passed away on April 22, 2022,at Grand Strand Medical Center under the care of Agape Hospice due to complications from kidney disease. He was surrounded with love in his final days, supported by his wife, Gretchen McAllister, son, Ryan McAllister, and daughter, Jennifer McAllister.
Alan was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 28, 1953, to the late Miriam Vaughn McAllister and the late Francis Joseph “Mac” McAllister. Alan lived in Astoria, New York until the family moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1955.Alan was a talented athlete and enjoyed spending days playing with his friends in Westview Park. Although he was skilled at baseball, swimming, and soccer, he excelled at basketball .He loved cheering on the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Colts at Memorial Stadium, and treasured an autograph from Alan Ameche, a Colts’ Fullback, carrying it in his wallet for many years. After the Colts left the city in 1984, Alan adopted the Baltimore Ravens as his football team, spending Sundays watching the team while simultaneously wishing the Colts would come back home. Outside of sports, Alan adored spending time with his father at his business, Davis Marine Supplies, Inc, in the Baltimore harbor, restocking supplies on ships and completing lifeboat safety inspections.
Alan attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia from 1971 to 1975, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with minors in Business and History. Alan easily navigated academia and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. During his freshman year, he was a walk-on to University of South Carolina’s NCAA Division One basketball team. One of his favorite stories to tell was when the coach put him into his one and only game in the final minutes. The coach told him not to touch the ball, so, to ensure he made it into the box score, he fouled the player closest to him.
Following graduation, Alan was offered a position as graduate assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, which he declined. Instead, he started working within the rapidly developing fields of information technology and software development, experimenting with and exploring emerging computer technologies. Although he held numerous different jobs over the years, he always spoke fondly of his time as a Senior Project Manager at McCormick & Company in Baltimore from 1984 to 1997. His final position before retirement was with American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., where he served as the Assistant Director of Enterprise Application Development from 2005 to 2019.
Although he was a highly accomplished and beloved manager, nothing made Alan prouder than the life and family he built with his wife of 40 years, Gretchen. Alan and Gretchen met in Maryland in 1981 and, according to Alan, he loved her the moment he saw her. After six weeks, he proposed, and they married nine months later on April 3, 1982. They started their journey together in a small duplex in Pasadena, Maryland before moving to Severna Park, Maryland in 1984 to raise their two children, Ryan and Jennifer. Alan was an amazing father, unequivocally supporting both children as they navigated school and their varied interests. His children inherited his athletic prowess, and he never missed one of Ryan’s lacrosse games or Jenn’s dance performances. He also coached Ryan in lacrosse and basketball for years. After Alan retired from work in June 2019, he and Gretchen followed their decades long dream of returning to the warmth of South Carolina. Alan spent his final years relaxing on the beach, basking in the sunshine, and spending Fridays with his beloved Gretchen and dog Maggie watching HGTV.
Although Alan battled illness throughout his life, he never let that get in the way of his passions and interests. He acquired his scuba certification and encouraged both of his children to do the same. Alan also relished family vacations and spent many summers relaxing in Myrtle Beach, exploring the islands of the Caribbean, and adventuring on cruises, including a spectacular trip to the Mediterranean Sea. He enjoyed reading a good Clive Cussler book, delving into history, and utilizing his superb writing skills to write countless letters to the editor for local papers. Regardless, family was always Alan’s top priority, and he loved spending time with his 18-month-old grandson, Carson. His final trip was to Ryan’s home in Seattle in November 2021, where he was able to create invaluable memories with his whole family celebrating Thanksgiving.
In spite of facing multiple health challenges, Alan was a true warrior until the end. His positive outlook was infectious, his humor unmatched, and his intelligence inspiring. Alan’s legacy will be carried on by his wife, Gretchen; son, Ryan Francis McAllister, daughter-in-law, Nina, and grandson, Carson of Seattle, Washington; and daughter, Jennifer Ann McAllister of Chicago, Illinois. He is also survived by his sister, Catherine M Jarmon of San Angelo, Texas and a brother, Brian J McAllister, of Eldersburg, Maryland.
A memorial service will be held on April 27, 2022 at 10 AM EST at Burroughs Funeral Home (3558 Old Kings Highway, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576). A link to the live stream will be available at www.burroughs.com approximately 10 minutes before the service time.
He will be laid to rest at a private ceremony in Maryland at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the McAllister family is requesting donations be made on Alan’s behalf to the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org).
Burroughs Funeral Home (843-651-1440) of Murrells Inlet is honored to be assisting the family.