Craig “Rusty” Allen
Craig “Rusty” Allen was born on March 18, 1947 and passed away on October 11, 2018.
He is loved and remembered as a husband, father, grandfather (“Papa”), brother, uncle, teacher, and friend.
Craig led an extraordinary life.
As a boy, he showed remarkable talent as a trumpet player, performing professionally with Jazz legends including Marcus Belgrave and Dizzy Gillespie.
He retained a life-long love of musical exploration and improvisation, often explaining, “There’s only one time signature, One over One.”
At the age of twenty he served as a soldier in Vietnam.
Craig went to Michigan State University on the GI Bill.
There he met and fell in love with Diane Levine. They married after only knowing each other a few months and stayed together for nearly 48 years. They shared the deepest love and partnership, and their children and grandchildren were Craig’s pride and joy.
Craig earned a Master’s Degree in Music Composition. He left an impressive catalog of original music, from full classical symphonies to small chamber and solo pieces to avant-garde Jazz creations, which he called “Meditative Etudes.”
Craig was deeply spiritual and religious in his own unique fashion. He attended seminary and became an ordained Rabbi, returning to the Army as a Chaplain, and later serving as a civilian Rabbi to various congregations.
He studied the Torah nearly every day of his adult life, and took great joy in the art and discipline of Hebrew calligraphy.
Craig loved to laugh and joke, and could find connection with everyone he met. His example taught others about showing respect and dignity to all.
He is profoundly missed, and his memory is cherished.