Allen Merrill McRae, Jr. of Portland, ME (formerly of Spartanburg, SC) died suddenly at the age of 83 on Wednesday, November 10th 2021 in Charlotte, NC. Mr. McRae was born to Allen Merrill McRae Sr. and Willie May McRae (ne Farr) in Spartanburg, SC on July 11th, 1938. An only child, he had an idyllic childhood filled with adventures and friends. It was during this time that he developed his lifelong love of golf and bridge. He later attended Spartanburg High School, where he played offensive and defensive line on the football team. He then attended the University of Georgia where he continued his football career and helped lead UGA to a Sugar Bowl.
After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in Accounting, he joined his father’s business as a CPA. It was during this time that he married his first wife Mary McRae. Following their divorce and his parents' passing, Mr. McRae moved to Asheville, NC, where he met and married his second wife, Jane Rollins. After moving to Houston, TX, he welcomed his first son, Allen Merrill McRae III, in 1981. He then moved to Acton, MA. Mr. McRae and Ms. Rollins divorced in 1985, and he remained a devoted father. He then met and married Teri McRae (ne Huttner) in 1988, who remained his wife for 33 happy years until his passing. In 1992, Mr. and Mrs. McRae welcomed their son Brian, and later moved to Portland, ME, where he spent the rest of his life, while frequently spending time in his beloved South.
Allen was a man of enthusiastic passions, chief among these being golf and bridge. He started playing golf as a child and excelled, playing on both his high school and college teams. He was quick to share this love with others, lending his expertise to hundreds of friends over the years and helping to spread his love of the game. His children were raised on stories of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Lee Travino. An outstanding player, he was always a sought-after partner to play a round of 18.
The same can be said for bridge, a game that he played and loved with a single-minded devotion. He was a Life Master, achieving over 3500 Master Points, and worked tirelessly to spread the game to a new generation of players. He taught and lectured on the game until the very end, and truly valued the many friends that he met playing in local and national tournaments.
In his professional life, he was a man of boundless curiosity. Not satisfied with CPA work, he later moved into consulting, which allowed him to learn about a multitude of new businesses as he helped create stable and sustainable leadership. He was at his happiest learning something new, whether it be how to manufacture a corrugated box or how a holographic baseball card worked. This extended to his personal life, where he delighted in learning about a new gadget or showing off a new youtube video he’d discovered.
He also had a deep love for what he called “good” music, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristopherson, Waylon Jennings, and especially Willie Nelson. He shared this love with his children, singing along with his musical heroes no matter how much they asked him to stop. He also passed along his love of a fine single malt scotch, and we hope anyone who is able will have a small dram in his memory.
Allen was a larger than life man, outsized in both stature and personality. Always quick with a joke or a story that seemed fresh even after hearing it for the hundredth time. He drew people in with his infectious warmth and humor, and passed along his unfailing delight with life to all that he met. There was never a person he couldn’t charm with his gentile southern accent, and never a room that he entered that wasn’t made livelier by his presence. He never tired of meeting new people and welcoming them in, and he left this world a better place for having him in it. His wife, his children and his many friends will miss him and mourn him, just as they will be forever grateful to have had him in their lives.
He is survived by his wife Teri, his sons Allen and Brian, and a galaxy of friends that he touched along his journey. We hope that you remember the joy he brought you all and that while we all mourn with you, he would want you to be out there having fun and living life. It’s what he would have done.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (arlgp.org), ACBL Education Foundation (acbleducationalfoundation.org) or First Tee - Upstate South Carolina (firstteeupstate.org).
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