Demanding magazine leader shared a secret softer side
Many know how Wick Allison strived to make Dallas better through his publications and The Coalition for a New Dallas.
Not as many know about the difference he sought to make through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Allison, who died Sept. 1 at age 72, spent years working alongside other society volunteers, including People Newspapers publisher Pat Martin.
“Unlike most people that knew Wick professionally, I was blessed to have had the opportunity to see a softer side of Wick, to witness his grace in action,” Martin said.
The volunteers visited families in need of emergency assistance and worked to provide financial, material, and spiritual support, she said. “Wick demonstrated great compassion and love for the poor.”
Gillea Allison, president of D Magazine Partners, wrote that her luxury-car-loving father would “help pay rent, babysit toddlers and newborns when a single mom was called in for the night shift, and shuttle the sick back and forth to Parkland Hospital when another health crisis inevitably hit. He had a proximity to poverty that I don’t think many people knew about, albeit from a comfortable, heated leather seat.”
“Not only did Wick have vision, but he acted on his vision. Dallas benefited greatly from his obsession to make it better, and he did. Thank you, Wick.”Lynn McBee
Search the FrontBurner blog at dmagazine.com to check out the obituary by D Magazine editor Tim Rogers and the comments that followed for stories of how demanding though still often inspiring Wick Allison could be.
“What he demanded was always too much, and that demand brought out the best in those who could keep up,” Rogers said.
Jon Dahlander, a former Dallas ISD spokesperson now with Highland Park ISD, recalls the kindness shown over two decades.
“While I’m sure he was a demanding person around the D offices, he was always enormously kind, generous, and supportive of me, both in my time at Dallas ISD and with my side career as a piano composer,” Dahlander said.
Dahlander also admired Wick Allison’s passion for Dallas and ability to understand “it much better than most.”
“It showed in all he did,” Dahlander said. “In a way, his personality was a lot like some of the best attributes of our city: entrepreneurial, mercurial, well-educated, tough, very smart, and even more opinionated.”
Last year, Lynn McBee, a philanthropist former mayoral candidate, joined Wick Allison as a co-chair of the Coalition for a New Dallas, the Super PAC he founded in 2015 to promote bold thinking about urbanism and the development of the city.
“Wick was someone who knew what he stood for and was deeply committed to Dallas,” she said. “We had very different working styles (he was fiery!), but I respected his relentless pursuit to push forward with plans that would make our city better.
“Not only did Wick have vision, but he acted on his vision,” McBee said. “Dallas benefited greatly from his obsession to make it better, and he did. Thank you, Wick.”
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