We would be hard-pressed to name a better citizen of Greater Hartford than Latham Lee Allison, who died last weekend at the age of 74. Mr. Allison, known as Lee, seemed to be wherever people were doing worthwhile things.
His gentle and self-effacing manner masked a highly analytical mind. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Business School, Mr. Allison was a corporate executive who voluntarily retired in his 50s to focus on community service work.
Mr. Allison believed that the best social program for Hartford was gainful employment. As vice president of the Capital Region Forum for the Future, he helped create a successful job training partnership between local community colleges and the regional manufacturing industry.
One of his finest achievements was playing a key role in the creation of the Asylum Hill Boys and Girls Club. The city neighborhood dearly needed a place for children.
Mr. Allison, active in the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, spent years selling the idea and raising money. He and his colleagues raised nearly $8 million for the building and an endowment.
The club, which opened in 2004, now serves about 450 youngsters a day.
Mr. Allison worked hard, raised a family, read and studied, traveled, played tennis and gave much of himself to the community. We should all live as well.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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