Photography

Allan Walker Fletcher

May 21, 1934 ~ June 26, 2022 (age 88)

Tribute

Dr. Allan Walker Fletcher died at St. Alphonsus in Boise, Idaho on June 26, 2022, surrounded by his family. He was a history professor, a racquetball player, a poker-group member, and an avid gardener. He grew the biggest garden he could on a 1/3-acre lot. Though time and illness gradually eroded his body, his wit never suffered, and he could discuss at length any historical or political matter. He loved crossword and acrostic puzzles. He will be deeply missed.

Allan was born on May 21, 1934, to Horace “Howie” (pronounced “Hoy”) Walker Fletcher and Myrtle Tate Simmons in McComb, Mississippi. They lived in the small town of Magnolia, Mississippi, where his mother was born. He was raised partly in Magnolia, but as his father was a government civil engineer, he also lived in other places, including Natchez, Mississippi; Jefferson, Louisiana; Jefferson, Texas; and New Orleans. At one rural outpost where the family lived, Allan begged his mother to let him go to school barefoot to avoid sticking out among his peers by wearing shoes. She finally relented one day, and then nursed his torn and bleeding feet after school. He didn’t ask again.

Allan graduated high school in New Orleans. He earned a B.S. in Zoology from Louisiana State University and served two years in the Army, stationed at Fort Huachuca, near Bisbee, Arizona. During this time, Allan and his parents were profoundly saddened by the death of his 15-year-old sister on Christmas Day in 1956, while the family was living in Jefferson, Texas. After the Army, Allan earned an MA and PhD in History from the University of Washington. He worked a variety of jobs to provide for his family during his higher education, including wrapping books at a textbook warehouse. In 1970 he began teaching in the History Department at Boise State University, teaching Western Civilization, English History, Irish History, and Humanities. He grinningly told that he was about to start a job as a dog catcher in Seattle when the offer came in from Boise State. Allan formed many close friendships with his colleagues at BSU. He retired in 2000 to raise an even bigger garden than before.

During his college years, Allan met Marian Irene Radford, a Library Science student at LSU, and they were married on December 20, 1957, in Detroit, Michigan. They had two wonderful sons, Robert Walker Fletcher in 1963, and Paul Simmons Fletcher in 1965. They lived in the Seattle area before moving to Boise. Allan and Marian later divorced, and she died in 2020.

Allan met the love of his life while teaching at Boise State, and married Jorgia Anne “Jan” (Bess) Pearce on September 14, 1985, at the home of Jan’s sister, Robin. It was a blended family from then forward: he was a beloved stepdad, and she a beloved stepmom. Allan and Jan spent a beautiful honeymoon in England and Ireland, where Allan was at last able to see first-hand what he’d spent years learning and teaching about. They remained love birds until his death, and she tenderly and tirelessly cared for him during his last several years.

Allan was honest and kind. He loved racquetball and hated mustard. He grew as many tomatoes as could fit on his plot and thrust them upon family, neighbors, and his nickel-bet poker group. He loved dogs and children and students, and hated cucumbers. He loved LSU football (Geaux!) and hated Alabama. He beat everyone who dared play against him at Trivial Pursuit, and we all learned to avoid playing him at Scrabble. He liked acting, and performed in early Idaho Shakespeare Festival dramas and other local plays. He played Matthew Harrison Brady (the William Jennings Bryan character) in Inherit the Wind, which portrayed the famous 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial.” He also starred in Finnian’s Rainbow.

Allan is survived by sons, Rob of The Dalles, Oregon; Paul (Mira) of Sammamish, Washington; Scott Pearce of Boise; and daughter, Kathi Pearce (Kris Ormseth) of Boise. He is survived by grandchildren Isabella, Callie, and Nick Fletcher of Sammamish, Washington; and Eddie and Abby Ormseth of Boise. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Robin (Bess) and Dwight McGee, and their children Doug, Justin, Mendi, A.J., and Angie, and their children Connor, Page, Dylan, Riley, Abby, Evie, and Ryan.

He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents; his sister, Sandra Elaine Fletcher; his grandson Ryan William Walker Fletcher; and his nephew’s daughter, Morgan McGee.

Per his wishes, a private family service will be held, and he will rest at Dry Creek Cemetery in Boise. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the local Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA).

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