ROCKVILLE, Md. — Richmond F. Allan, 83, died June 14, 2013, after a short illness. He was born in Billings, Mont., on April 22, 1930, to Roy and Edith Prater Allan.
Richmond graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1948; during that year he was the high school champion debater for the state of Montana. He attended the University of Montana for one year, but in September 1949, as a passenger, he was seriously injured in an automobile accident. After a six-month hospital stay, he attended Eastern Montana in Billings and studied for one year at Montana State University in Bozeman.
In August 1954, Richmond Allan and Dorothy Ann Frost were married at Saint Patrick’s in Billings. In September they went to Missoula, where Dorothy taught school and Richmond attended the University of Montana. In 1955, he received a bachelor’s degree with honors.
In 1957, he received a law degree with honors. Shortly after graduation, Richmond having been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, Dorothy and Rich spent a year (1957) in London. Richmond pursued graduate studies at the London School of Economics, while Dorothy taught at the American Army School. When they returned to the States, Richmond worked for the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco (1958). After that year, they returned to Billings.
In 1959, Richmond became an associate and then a partner in the firm of Kurth, Connor, Jones and Allan in Billings. In 1961, he became Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana, where he supervised the acquisition of lands required for federal projects, including the Malmstrom AFB missile field and the Yellowtail Dam.
With his family, he moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1965 to become Associate Solicitor of the Department of the Interior in charge of the Division of Indian Affairs. He was appointed Deputy Solicitor in 1968. In 1969, he became a partner at Weissbrodt & Weissbrodt, where he acted on behalf of the Natives of Southeast Alaska to secure adoption of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, which resolved the aboriginal claim of the Alaska Natives.
In 1977, he became a partner in the Washington office of Casey, Lane & Mittendorf of New York. In 1979, he joined Duncan, Weinberg, & Genzer, PC (later Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer, & Pembroke, PC), where he practiced extensively in the fields of public land and Indian law, representing such clients as Sealaska Corporation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes. He retired in 2002, but continued to work as a consultant.
His wife, Dorothy Frost Allan, died in 2009 after 55 years of loving marriage. He is survived by his three sons, Dr. Richmond P. Allan (Seulhee), of Spartanburg, S.C., David Allan (Julie), of Lititz, Pa., and Michael Allan, of Bethesda, Md.; four grandchildren, Rachel, Edith, Matthew and Peter; and a sister, Robyn Allan English, of Mahwah, N.J.
He was a man of strong opinions and succinct expression, always ready to share his vast store of wisdom with family and friends. His witty conversation and his clever, customized Komodo Kards for every occasion are already missed.
Cremation has taken place. A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 18230 Barnesville Road, Barnesville, MD. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Arc of Montgomery County, 11600 Nebel St., Rockville, MD 20852, or at www.thearcofmontgomerycounty.org/ .