Cover photo for Craig "Rusty" Allen's Obituary
Craig "Rusty" Allen Profile Photo

Craig "Rusty" Allen

March 18, 1947 — October 11, 2018

Craig "Rusty" Allen was born on March 18, 1947 and passed away on October 12, 2018. He was so loved as a husband, father, grandfather ("Papa"), brother, uncle, friend, teacher and more to those he leaves behind. Craig led an extraordinary life. As a boy, he showed remarkable talent as a trumpet player, performing professionally at an early age with jazz legends including Marcus Belgrave, Dizzy Gillespie, and others. He retained a life-long love of musical exploration and improvisation, and often explained, "There's only one time signature, and that's One over One." He entered the U.S. Army at the age of twenty, and served as a soldier in Vietnam. Craig went to Michigan State University on the GI Bill, where he met and fell in love with the woman who would become his wife, Diane Levine. They married after only knowing each other a few months and stayed together for nearly 48 years. She was by his side until the very end and was his whole world-- there is no deeper love and partnership than what they shared. Their children and grandchildren were Craig's pride and joy. Professionally, Craig earned a Masters Degree in Music composition. He left an impressive catalog of original music, from full classical symphonies to small chamber and solo compositions to avant-garde Jazz creations, which he called "Meditative Etudes". Craig was deeply spiritual and religious in his own unique fashion. He attended seminary and became an ordained Rabbi, returning to the Army as a chaplain, and later as a serving as a Civilian Rabbi to various congregations. He studied the Torah nearly every day of his adult life, and took great joy in the art and discipline of Hebrew calligraphy. Craig loved to laugh and joke, and could find some common ground and connection with everyone he met. His example taught others about showing respect and dignity to all. He is profoundly missed by those lucky enough to have known him. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Craig "Rusty" Allen, please visit our flower store.


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