Cover photo for Allen Howard Arkett's Obituary
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Allen Howard Arkett

December 2, 1927 — January 8, 2022

Allen Howard Arkett

Allen Howard Arkett, 94, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2022. Allen was born on December 2, 1927 in East Orange, New Jersey to the late Albert Edgar and Lucy (Sheppard) Arkett. He was born with a beloved twin sister, Elizabeth (Betty), with whom he shared many experiences and would fondly recount stories from their childhood years. He and his sister lived in multiple locations in New Jersey, Ohio, and Connecticut as their parents were dedicated officers in service to The Salvation Army.

After graduation from East Orange High School, 1945, he started college at Lafayette, but shortly thereafter was drafted for service into the United States Army where he served as an instructor and paratrooper at Fort Benning, GA. After military service, he resumed his studies and graduated from Lafayette College, Easton, PA in 1951 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He went on to become a dedicated employee for Babcock & Wilcox Company for 38 years, initially in New York City later transferring to the Barberton, OH site in 1958. Applying his technical and people skills, he was promoted to Project Manager and traveled abroad, notably Israel, overseeing the installation of B&W boilers, and the construction and startup of several power generation plants.

Allen shared a cherished life with his wife, best friend and devoted partner, Phyllis DesMarais Arkett, for over 70 years. Knowing each other since high school, they reconnected and married in 1951 in East Orange, NJ. Their life together took them to Bryn Mawr and Wayne, PA rearing their first two children, then to Morristown, NJ having their 3rd child, then relocating to Norton, OH in 1958 where their 4th child was born. Phyllis mentioned that he would often think that he was “too hard on his children”, but his children looking back could not have asked for a better father as a role model or husband for their mother. While Allen was a proud professional, his true passion was music, notably the sounds of big band and classical music. Phyllis fondly referred to him as her “musical engineer”. His lifetime love of the cello began at age 6. He enjoyed playing his cello “Marcello” in quartet ensembles, local musicals including South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, and Oklahoma, then later in the Medina Symphony. In song, he lent his smooth alto voice to the harmony of Barbershop quartets in college, jingle commercials for Kuebler Beer in Easton, PA, choir at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Barberton, and frequently would break into song at home.

Allen was a man of various talents and interests, many shared with his wife, family, and friends. He was an avid snow skier, ski jumper, and a founding member of the Akron Ski Club. He loved to swim in the ocean especially along the East coast in Belmar, NJ as a child and later in the Gulf of Mexico at his step-mother’s home in Anna Maria, FL. Allen came from a water-loving family hence his passion for sailing which he shared with Phyllis and family for over 25 years. He named their second boat “Foogus”, a term of endearment for Phyllis coined by her brother. Tennis was an all-time family favorite and once retired, he played regularly with friends at Towpath Tennis Center. Ice skating was a labor of love for Phyllis, the true ice skater, but he proudly skated the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario, CA with her despite his better judgement. With his engineer mind, there was little he, as a master tinkerer, would not attempt to build or repair. He passed along to his family his great love of nature and the outdoors, spending time golfing, traveling, camping, and hiking notably in Summit County Metro Parks and pedaling on rail trails. He and Phyllis enjoyed their bicycle outings so much that he would often say he wished he had been born 20 years later because he thoroughly loved riding on the developing rail trail systems.

Allen was a kind-hearted gentleman, ever mindful of those in need and willingly offered a hand or support. He dedicated many years as a faithful member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church serving on the vestry, singing in the choir, Superintendent, and lay reader. He was mindful of his family’s devotion to The Salvation Army by volunteering his time, ringing the bell for the holiday Red Kettle Campaign, and serving on various boards. His love of youth and the great outdoors promoted his volunteerism with the Boy Scouts of America serving as a Cub Master for 20 years.

Along with his parents and step-mother, Louella Kimball Arkett, Allen is preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Carver; twin sister, Elizabeth (Richard) Lefeber; nephew, Andre Lefeber; step-sister Audrey (Donald) Seiler, step-brother Lyman (Dell) Kimball; brother-in-law, Richard (Margaret) DesMarais. He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Phyllis; son, Stuart (Marilyn) Arkett; daughters, Jennifer (Lonnie) Arkett, and Casley (Robert) Nagengast; son-in-law, Jon Carver; sister-in-law, Jean (Harold) Somerset; niece, Cheri (Steve McCall) DesMarais; nephew, Jim (Lyn) DesMarais; nephew, Anthony (Pat) Lefeber; grandchildren, Erin, Camille, Gabrielle, Claire, Sara, Keaton, and Paula; great-granddaughter, Ivy; and many other loving family and friends.

Cremation has taken place. Due to the unfortunate impact of Covid, a celebration of Allen’s life will take place at a later date. At this time, you are invited to peruse the website “” to view his tribute wall, offer condolences, and share memories. The family appreciates your thoughtfulness and expresses their gratitude to the healthcare workers, Ohio Living Rockynol staff and employees for their exemplary care of him during these difficult times. In lieu of flowers and in his memory, please consider a donation to The Salvation Army of Barberton, OH, The Summit Metro Parks Foundation in Akron, OH, Great Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America in Akron, OH, or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church of Barberton, OH.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Allen Howard Arkett, please visit our flower store.


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