18 January 2017

Allen Stross passes away

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2008

We are saddened to learn that Allen Stross, one of Berkeley’s iconic residents and a longtime friend of BAHA and the Berkeley Historical Society, passed away this afternoon. He was 93 years old.

For many years, Allen was a regular fixture at BAHA’s house tours, and until a decade ago he acted as our tour photographer.

According to an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle three years ago, “Allen Stross of Berkeley started working at age 13. He’s been a delivery boy, a sign painter, a Navy sailor and a photographer for the Detroit Free Press. Now, at age 90, he and his wife live on about $21,000 a year. After they pay for rent and medications, they're left with just $416 a month.”

While living in Detroit in the 1960s and ’70s, Allen taught photography courses and contributed photographs to the Historic American Buildings Survey, housed in the Library of Congress.

The photo above shows Allen on a BHS walking tour of the McGee-Spaulding-Hardy District.


Blogger Jeanine said...

Thank you so much for that, Daniella. Allen's determination to keep serving the City—at BAHA, the Berkeley Historical Society and Berkeley's Commission on Aging—despite his age and frailty, was inspiring. He was the Historical Society's photographer for many years, as well earlier serving in Detroit as photographer, winning many awards. By the way, I noticed that one of the plaques outside of the Palace of Fine Arts features a photo by Allen. Allen was one intrepid guy!

18 January, 2017 17:50  
Anonymous Lea D. said...

Thanks for this remembrance of Allen Stross. He was indeed an intrepid and spirited person with a TON of personality and lots of determination. He was also a dedicated photographer for the Jewish Music Festival, held at the Berkeley Jewish Community Center and elsewhere, and also photographed events for the Yiddish Culture Festival. I believe he was the organizer of a photography contest sponsored by the Berkeley Historical Society about 10 years, for photo essays about Berkeley. I was thrilled to be one of the winners of this contest. Thanks, Allen, for all you did. Lea Delson

03 July, 2017 10:26  
Blogger Ann H said...

The Berkeley Historical Society will exhibit Allen Stross photographs and memorabilia April 8-21, 2018.

05 December, 2017 10:52  

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