In Memoriam: Allen Robnett


Allen Robnett, HSNM’s past president, passed away of natural causes on June 2nd 2021 at the age of 87.

Allen had a lifelong love of learning for himself and for all those around him. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Princeton University in 1956, he moved to Albuquerque where he began work at Sandia National Labs. While at Sandia, he completed a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. In 1970, he moved with his family to Gallatin, Tennessee and began teaching physics and math at Gallatin High School. He taught there for nearly 40 years, during which time he introduced aviation and astronomy curricula that were among the first in the state. With help from students and other volunteers, Allen built an observatory atop the Gallatin High gym to house a telescope loaned by an area university. In recognition of his outstanding teaching career, he was awarded the Alan Shepherd Technology and Education Award and the Air Force Association National Aerospace Teacher of the Year award.

Allen deeply loved flying and began soaring while still in Albuquerque. He accrued the necessary flight hours and additional ratings to become a certified flight instructor. In Tennessee, Allen owned two Cessna airplanes and used them for flight instruction, data gathering for the TVA, cargo transport, banners-for-hire, and even a little barnstorming. His regular landing spot was a mowed strip down the middle of a hay field on the family farm.

At age 70, Allen took up paragliding, much to his children’s alarm.

In 2015 Allen returned to Albuquerque to be with Charlene Baker, the love of his life and to be closer to his children. Here he engaged his fascination of word games, dancing and music, which included a stint as President of the Humanist Society of New Mexico, Enchanter’s chorus group, New MexiChords Barbershop Chorus and International Folk Dance Group.

Allen is survived by his beloved Charlene Baker, of Albuquerque; sisters Janice Lucas and June Krejdovsky (Tony), of California; children, Connie Robnett, Greg Titus (Barbara), Rebecca Titus-Taylor (Mark), Allison Fletcher (Dan), Kathleen Carter (Mike), Brad Robnett (Tracey), and James Robnett (Pam); and 9 grandchildren.

It was Allen’s wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable donations to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Rest in peace, Allen.

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