Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remembering Rebecca

Nearly 2 years ago my friend and co-worker, Rebecca Allen, was killed by a drunk driver. She was out for an early morning (5 am) bike ride with a friend when they were struck by a 20 year old driving home from a house party. Rebecca was rushed to the hospital where she died of her injuries. She was only 32 years old and one of the best people I've ever known.

I will never forget that phone call as I left my apartment for work and the instant stomach-clenching and tears that came with it, nor will I forget the sound of my mother's crying when I walked into the house. Before Rebecca was my co-worker, she had worked with my Mom and was a wonderful friend to both of us. She was part of a tight-knit group of my Mom's former co-workers that were both friend and 2nd family to me. And her death rocked this group to the core.

Well, yesterday we had the unveiling of a memorial bench in Rebecca's honor on CSU's main campus, and it was lovely. It was wonderful to see everyone and to know that Rebecca will be able to touch people's lives long after those of us who knew her are gone. Anyone walking past the Clark C-Wing building will see this bench, be drawn in by the bronzed flip flops sitting under it (she was a flip-flop kind of gal!) and will read the plaque commemorating her life. They'll wonder who this woman was, and Rebecca will continue to live on in people's thoughts.

Rebecca Anne-Emily Gumtow Allen
June 23, 1976 - July 22, 2008
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Friend,
Cyclist & Earth Advocate
CSU Alumna, Staff & Advisor
Loved and Missed By All

Those of us who knew her will always remember that she was an avid recycler, biked absolutely everywhere, loved her husband with her entire being and put herself out there for each and every one of her students; she was a beloved daughter, sister, aunt and a wonderful friend; she loved a good beer, typically snacked through her lunch before noon rolled around and always had a smile on her face. She was our Rebecca.

I drive by the spot where she was killed nearly every day on my way to work, and it gets a little easier each day. I cried almost every morning for the first 6 months or so, but now I can see the little white cross that was placed on the light pole and I can smile when Rebecca's face flashes through my mind.

She's loved, missed and remembered always.


  1. What a sweet little memorial you wrote, and the bench is really lovely. Such a sad thing that happened :(

  2. i'm so sorry for your loss of such a great woman.
    this is so terribly sad.
    but the memorial you guys did for her is simply beautiful. a reminder to kick off your shoes and always laugh is wonderful.

  3. Thinking about you, love...and your momma too. :)

    What a great memorial!

  4. That is a beautiful thing to do! I love the flip flops!
    So sorry for the loss, and I hope each day gets easier!

  5. so lovely! Happy Friday! Have a great sunny weekend!


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