Dr. Allen E. Loken, 75, transitioned out of this life on May 8, 2023, at his home in Duluth, MN, with the love and comfort of his wife Kimberle, son Troy, and daughter Kari by his side.
Allen was born in Cambridge, MA, and raised in Minneapolis, MN. He grew up in a loving family with sisters Evonne, Gwen, Lynette, and brother Warren. Some of his fondest memories included time spent on the Loken and Buehler farms in South Dakota with his grandparents and cousins, as well as summers on Pickerel Lake where he first met his wife, Kim.
Allen graduated from West High School in 1966 and went on to the University of Minnesota. After graduating from the U of MN’s School of Dentistry, Allen, Kim, and Troy moved to Burlington, VT for his residency. There they met lifelong friends, Fred and Pat Gonzales, with whom they enjoyed skiing and sailing trips over the years. His early career included working for the Public Health service in Gallup, NM and Red Lake, MN, before returning to the Twin Cities to complete his specialty in Orthodontics.
In 1979, Allen and Kim moved to Duluth to set up his practice and raise their family. He shared his passion for adventure and love of the outdoors with his wife, children, and grandchildren – skiing, snowboarding, sailing, windsurfing, and tennis – to name just some of his favorites. His adventures took him whitewater rafting, kayaking, horse-packing, and mountain biking with the UMD Outdoor program. He also frequently took his family camping, canoeing, and to warm destinations on sailing or windsurfing trips to escape the cold Duluth winters. He enjoyed numerous ski trips out West and camping trips in Northern Minnesota with his high school friends.
Fortunate to retire early, he was able to enjoy 20 years of uninterrupted birdwatching, guitar playing, New York Times crosswords, reading, and spending quality time with Kim, as well as Troy and Kari and their families. He remained gripped by wanderlust and traveled whenever he had the chance. He delighted in spending his summers on lakes, including racing sailboats on Lake Superior – even once winning the Richardson Cup – and he always looked forward to and cherished a family week each summer on the shores of Pelican Lake at Fair Hills Resort. In more recent years, he and Kim took once-in-a-lifetime vacations to the Galapagos, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.
Avid birdwatchers, Allen and Kim traveled on birding trips from coast to coast, following migration patterns and working on identifying species to add to their yard, county, state, and life lists. He especially reveled in birding trips with Minnesota Birding Weekends (MBW) and learning from leaders Kim Eckert and Craig Mandel. He and Kim even proudly accomplished “a Minnesota big year.” Allen also actively participated in the community of Lake Superior Free Thinkers and deeply treasured his conversations with its founder Bill van Druten.
Allen is preceded in death by his parents, Merle K. and Fern M. (Buehler) Loken.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Kimberle (Lillehei) Loken, his son Troy (Deanna) Loken, his daughter Kari Loken (Marek Kozlowski), and his grandchildren, Corey (Aryn) Loken, Emily Loken (Alannah Foley), and Noe Loken Kozlowski. Allen did not wish to have a memorial service and will be interred at Lakewood Cemetery later this summer. To honor his love of the outdoors, memorial donations to the Sax Zim Bog or a nature conservancy, bird sanctuary, or park of your choice are welcome.