Allen M. Rossman, MD


image of Allen M. Rossman, MD

Allen M. Rossman, MD


Allen M. Rossman MD, age 77, passed away peacefully at home on January 20, with loving family by his side.

Allen grew up in Portland, Oregon as one of four boisterous children. He and his brothers had an early fascination with anything mechanical and spent much of their childhood “fixing” and constructing things, including a go-kart in the basement. Often their projects required breaking into their dad’s locked workshop to get the tools they needed. Throughout life Allen accumulated every tool you could ever need and many you didn’t. His greatest enjoyment came from helping family and friends with any chore at hand.

Allen attended Grinnell College and Johns Hopkins Medical School and received his ophthalmology training at Yale. Part of his residency was spent in Haiti working with the poor at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer. This was a compelling influence in his life.

He also served two years in the Army Medical Corps in Fort Riley, Kansas.

Allen returned to the Pacific Northwest and opened his Ophthalmology practice in Kirkland, Washington, where he could be near family and enjoy sailing and skiing. Soon after, he was diagnosed with leukemia, but triumphed over the disease and returned to a full-time practice for over 30 years. He truly cared about his patients and loved visiting with them, often at the expense of the office schedule.

Music was a lifelong passion. He attributed his love of folk music to meeting Pete Seeger, who had dinner at his house after a rousing local performance.  Allen played the guitar and banjo, cultivating his skills at college and having great fun joining his classmates in lively impromptu performances. He also sang in an acapella group. As the years went on, he could always be found with his guitar close by, ready for a song.

Allen met his wife Debbie on a blind date and they were married nearly 40 years. They had two daughters, Leslie and Allison, whom he loved with all his heart. He was a devoted father – guiding his girls down the bunny slopes teaching them to ski, playing guitar around the campfire during weekend trips with YMCA Indian Princess, many outings for ice cream, and never missing a dance recital. Our fondest memories are of joyful times at our cabin on Lake Cavanaugh, where we had no tv or internet and enjoyed simply being together.

Following retirement, Allen and Debbie spent time on the road in their Alfa Romeo sports cars – volunteering at rallies with the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon and enjoying evening jaunts to the drive-up at Burgermaster on Lake Washington. They eventually added an RV to their collection and spent winters in Arizona with family and close friends. As expected, there was much time spent head scratching and problem solving among all the vehicles. Luckily Allen’s brother and his best friend were often by his side. At home, cherished time was spent playing with his three grandchildren- Owen, Reese, and Chase.

Allen has been described as “impossible not to like.” He will be remembered for his unfailing optimism, sense of humor, kindness and humility.

A celebration of his life will be planned for this summer.

In honor of his memory, donations may be made to Hôpital Albert Schweitzer ( or Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (

12 Responses to “Allen M. Rossman, MD”

  • Pat Basse says:

    Joe and I extend our deepest sympathy to Debbie and her family. Allen was a wonderful man, our great Dr. and a lovely neighbor. We miss him already.

  • Sharon Cooper says:

    May memories of happy times together with friends and family sustain you. I will always remember Allen’s mischievous smile and dancing with him long ago!
    Wishing you and all your family peace and comfort as you travel through this terribly difficult time. Love, Sharon

  • Dan E. Burns says:

    I enjoyed meeting Allen M. Rossman, MD, today. Thanks for sharing.

  • Richard Bailly says:

    I was a college classmate (Grinnell) of Al’s in the 60’s. I had the fortune to sing and perform with him in a men’s octet called the Scarleteers. Al was an excellent singer and musician, and almost always had an upbeat attitude. I am glad I was able to spend some time with him during our Grinnell 50-year reunion, and was looking forward to more of the same at a reunion we have planned for this spring. I have a feeling Al will be with us in spirit in Grinnell!

  • Craig Welterlen says:

    At Grinnell I recruited the amazing Dibble Hall-mate Al into Scarleteers, that acapella group, along with Richard Bailly (above). Al added so much energy we couldn’t keep up with him…or his banjo fingers. Great, bright, competent, fun guy. And he might have bought the beat-up 1950 Ford I left on campus as first in his collection.

  • Jane Rossman Carpenter says:

    Goodbye, dear cousin. Thank you sharing your good cheer and wisdom. Go in peace and love.

  • Joseph & Alana Celia says:

    Allen was our friend and neighbor in our community for over 30 years. There was never a time that Allen didn’t greet you with a smile. His positive energy and approach to life was always present. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him and his family. To Debbie, Leslie, Allison and the grandkids…we share the pain of losing someone so dear. Our hearts are with you during this difficult time.

  • Chuck Pilcher MD says:

    Allan was always a joy to work with, respected and loved by patients and colleagues.

  • Karen Schickling says:

    I had the pleasure of working as a receptionist in his office for 12 years, one of the kindest bosses I ever had in my medical office working years. He always made sure each of us had an office luncheon out for our birthdays, and cared about each of us. My heartfelt condolences to to Debbie, Leslie, and Allison

  • Janet Loudenback-Newman says:

    So sorry to hear about Allen’s passing.
    May God wrap his loving arms around you an girls and give you peace. Your old nurse friend from OHMC
    Janet Loudenback-Newman

  • Tom Howard says:

    Debbie and family, I just saw this today, and Kathy and I are very sad to hear about Allen’s death. You may not recall, but I met him when he was driving to Crystal Mountain through Maple Valley, where he picked up a lone hitch hiker (me) who was standing on the side of the road with skiis, boots, etc.
    We ended up skiing together all day, and he was so open and engaging and smart(!), we became fast friends. I dislocated my shoulder that day and he skiied down to get the pro patrol. By that time I knew he was a physician, but when I asked him to re-set my shoulder he said, “I’m an eye surgeon, not an ortho!” He was a much better skier than I would ever be, and we laughed about it after. When he was diagnosed with null cell leukemia (if I recall correctly) I visited him several times and was always impressed with his positivity and will to live. When our second son was born with a heart defect we ended up naming him after Allen, hoping he would be as strong and thrive. He was only 7 weeks old when he died in our arms, but every time we say his name, I think about his namesake. Such a beautiful soul. Love to you and your family.

  • Sid Schwab says:

    Allen and I were good friends growing up. I spent lots of time at his house, and he at mine. I watched the go-cart being assembled, drove it. Same with a mini-hydroplane which we took to the Willamette and drove it. Didn’t sink.

    We also had a sometime poker group, penny-ante, with a couple other brainy guys. He’d begun playing the banjo, then, too. Sounds like he got a lot better.

    Sadly, we pretty much lost touch after high school, and even though our medical practices weren’t far apart, he in Kirkland and I in Everett, we never managed to see each other. More’s the pity. I wish his family the solace of warm memories.

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE