Allen Morrow Acheson, age 85, passed away peacefully Sunday, March 4th, 2012 in Kansas City. The son of Hazel and Samuel I. Acheson, United Presbyterian missionaries, Allen was born in Tanta, Egypt, June 12, 1926. A U.S. Navy veteran along with his father, Allen served on two destroyers in the Pacific theater in the Second World War. Allen's experience aboard ship led him to pursue engineering education under the "GI Bill." Allen graduated from Iowa State in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Throughout his career, Allen received numerous honors and awards including the Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering from Iowa State in 1976; he was made a Life Fellow of the American Consulting Engineers Council and a Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1991 he received an award for his important contributions to the American Consulting Engineers Council and dedicated service to the international engineering community. In 1992, in retirement, Allen received the Anson Marston Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering from Iowa State University. Allen began his career in Carroll, Iowa as a power station superintendent. He also worked from 1956 to 1960, as Utilities Manager for City Power and Light in Independence, Missouri. When he retired at the end of 1991, Allen was one of seven Executive Partners of Black & Veatch when the engineering firm was still a partnership. In the early 1960s, Allen's contribution was in the formation and leadership of Black & Veatch International Company, which was, at that time, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Black & Veatch, bringing to the company his experience with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) for whom he previously worked from 1960 to 1963. According to Black & Veatch, writing at the time of his retirement, "As President of Black & Veatch International, Allen's energy, integrity, and dedication helped spearhead the growth of BVI." Allen traveled to many countries over three decades, logging more than 3 million miles traveling to 59 countries, negotiating contracts and managing engineering projects. He was proud especially of Black & Veatch's electric power generation projects in Thailand, Indonesia, and elsewhere, including the Greater Cairo Wastewater System, a massive civil engineering project undertaken in the 1980s in Egypt. Due to the quality of BVI's achievements, Allen was most unusually, presented to and thanked by the royalty and presidency of several countries, including the King of Thailand. Allen held professional engineering credentials in several states and in several countries. Allen served on several boards of directors, including Tarkio College and Research Hospital (Kansas City). A long-standing member of Village Presbyterian Church, in retirement Allen applied his expertise with a team of three to upgrade Village Church facilities. Allen owed several small airplanes, including a Cessna 210 twin-engine and was an avid private pilot, sharing many aviation experiences with his friend and fellow engineer, Robert DeCamp. He took great pleasure logging hundreds of hours flying over the mid-West and on trips to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to visit friends and family. Allen constructed an experimental aircraft, the Questair Venture. Allen built houses serving as his own general contractor, most notably in the late 60s in Overland Park, Kansas, Park County, Colorado and in Timber Trace community in Kansas City, Missouri in the 1980s. Allen was also a skilled wood-working craftsman, constructing furniture, toys, and musical instruments in his shops in Colorado and Kansas City. Allen is survived by his wife, Phyllis Acheson, and by his four children from his former wife, Mary Jean Acheson (nee Baird, deceased): Rebecca Sloane, London, United Kingdom, Jennifer Acheson, Atherton, California, Scott Acheson, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jon Acheson, Baltimore, Maryland. and seven grandchildren, Nicholas, Alexander and Hannah Sloane, Sarah Ghandour, Ellie Acheson, and Gabriel and Baird Acheson. A memorial service will be held at Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS. on Tuesday, April 3rd at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be offered at www.mtmoriah-freeman.com.
Arrangements under the direction of Mount Moriah & Freeman Funeral Home, Kansas City, MO.