Stearns Boyden Allen, Jr., 74 of Cambridge, became airborne to heaven, his final “jump”, from the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester, VT the night of Friday, November 18, 2022. Stearns had a challenging 4 month battle with lung cancer. He faced his diagnosis with dignity, grace, and courage while supported by his loving family, friends, and Respite House staff. His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God sustained him during this difficult time and ultimately gave him peace.
Stearns was born on July 31, 1948, in Burlington, VT, the oldest child of the late Stearns B. Allen, Sr. and Betty (Wright) Allen of Westford, VT. He grew up on farms in and around the Shelburne area, and graduated from Champlain Valley Union in Hinesburg, VT in 1966. Stearns earned a B.S. degree in 1970 from the University of Vermont in Agricultural Economics, where he also participated in the Army ROTC program.
Stearns went on to serve in the Army and then the Army Reserve attaining the rank of Captain. While serving at Ft. Drum in Texas he joined a skydiving club “to keep out of trouble,” and over the next decade he accumulated over 300 jumps in various locations. While in Utah he moved to the National Guard 19th Special Forces Airborne as a Detachment Commander, 1st Lieutenant. Stearns took particular pride and satisfaction in participating in the Army Special Forces Unit and continuing to parachute throughout his life. He also served in the National Guard in Vermont, eventually serving as the commander of the Enosburgh unit.
In 1973, While working on his Master’s degree at the University of Wyoming, Stearns met and fell in love with his wife Cynthia and her daughter Cara. As it happened, he was Cyndy’s skydiving instructor and skydiving soon became a family affair. Stearns and Cyndy were married May 18, 1974, in Laramie, WY. After moving to Utah in 1975, they welcomed their 2nd daughter, Whitney, in 1976. Upon moving to Vermont in 1978, Cambridge became their home for the following 44 years, and they welcomed their 3rd daughter, Kristen, in 1980.
Stearns began his career in real estate assessment working for the Valuation & Review Division of the Utah State Tax Dept., but Vermonters’ roots run deep! After three years he was ready to return to his native state to work at the Vermont Department of Taxes, Division of Property Evaluation and Review, as a district advisor. For 36 years, Stearns enjoyed working at PVR in various positions until his retirement in December, 2014. His work ethic and love for field work led him to continue in this area post-retirement. He was working as the Town Assessor in Greensboro at the time of his cancer diagnosis in July 2022.
Stearns tutored his wife Cyndy in assessment and taught the courses she took at PVR to earn her certification in real estate appraisal. Together they owned and operated Allen Appraisal & Consulting for nearly 20 years, and were one of only a few married professional appraisers in Vermont. Stearns relished his work and was very devoted to teaching others and sharing his passion for property evaluation. In these capacities he made many lifelong friends across the State of Vermont who will greatly miss his gentle nature, expertise, and dry humor.
Early in life Stearns developed a love for motorcycles and "classic" cars of which he has owned a few over the years. His particular favorites were a 1968 Corvette and an antique Indian motorcycle. On his long drives working in Vermont and traveling with his family back and forth to Wyoming, he loved listening to music. A few of his favorites were Jimmy Buffett, the Beach Boys, CJ McCall, Roy Orbison, and many golden oldies of the 60s.
Since a boy, Stearns always preferred keeping busy and particularly reveled in his time outside, hunting and working in the woods with his tractor. He had recently acquired a new crossbow & muzzle loader and was looking forward to mastering them. A love for making maple syrup runs deep in the Allen Family and Stearns was no exception! He grew up sugaring and as his family grew, he enjoyed including each new member every sugaring season. In the spring of 2022, he built his own scaled-down sugaring operation and successfully made excellent syrup for his family.
Stearns always cherished spending time with family, especially at the family camp on Metcalf Pond. He was looking forward to more relaxation time after he spearheaded renovations in 2019-2021. Being a Grandpa came naturally to him and he was quick to join grandchildren in hands-on activities. Stearns also savored trying new and different types of food and especially loved spicy dishes. A bottle of his favorite hot sauce was always nearby, even at the Respite House where his culinary preferences were affectionately catered to.
Stearns is survived by the love of his life, Cynthia C. (Whittington) Allen of Cambridge, his wife of 48 years; his daughters, Cara (Allen) St. Cyr and husband Dan of Cambridge, VT; Kristen (Allen) Smith and husband Jason of Millbury, MA; four grandchildren, Jacob and Mason St. Cyr, Alanna and Annabelle Smith, and two step-grandchildren, Shayne and Taylor St. Cyr; his sister, Patricia (Allen) and husband José Garcia of Westford. He also leaves many beloved cousins, nephews, nieces as well as innumerable treasured friends he made during his lifetime. Lastly, he leaves behind his beloved feline buddy, Remington.
Stearns was predeceased by his parents, Stearns B. Allen, Sr. and Betty (Wright) Allen; his brother, Douglas Allen; daughter, Whitney Rae Allen; granddaughter, Maria Joy Smith.
The family extends a sincere and heartfelt thank you to the extraordinary doctors, nurses and staff at Lamoille Home Health & Hospice, UVMMC and the McClure Miller Respite House. We also want to express our love and gratitude for the amazing support in so many ways we have received from family and friends far and wide.
There will be no visiting hours. We welcome all who knew and loved Stearns to join us for a Celebration of His Life to be held at Essex Alliance Church on Thursday, January 26th at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Inurnment will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Lamoille Home Health & Hospice at 54 Farr Ave., Morristown, VT, 05661; or the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester, VT, where Stearns resided for six weeks. www.uvmhomehealth.org/vna-programs-wish-list/
The family is being assisted by Direct Cremation Services of the A. W. Rich Funeral Home, 1176 Main St., Fairfax, Vt., 05454. The family invites you to share your memories and online condolences by visiting www.awrichfuneralhomes.com.