I first met Allan when I was 12. My father had signed me up for a something called a Sojourn on the Juniata River along with my Uncle Rich. At the time, I wasn't really into the idea as I had never been in a canoe and didn't know anyone other than my family on this trip. I spent the duration of this trip in the middle of the canoe fishing while my Dad and Uncle worked against each other to get the boat to travel down the river in a straight line. Little did I know at the time that trip was to be the first of many that would shape my love for paddling to this day. I came to look forward to the week long trips on the Susquehanna and seeing Quants and the rest of my river family annually. Those trips were the highlight of my summers all the way through my adult life when we attended our last of the Quant led Susquehanna Sojourns. Without them, those trips just weren't the same. I will never forget Allen's patience in teaching myself and my family the basics of paddling and then honoring us as safety boaters with our manly pink ribbons when we returned every year. His booming commands to "keep paddling" as you worked your boat through a chute in a rapid and him grinning ear to ear as you made it through safely. Those words..."keep paddling" have guided me through not just down the rivers but have served as a guide during turbulent times in my life as well. Thank you Allen, Betsy and Jeremy for your valuable life lessons and friendship that have forever changed the way I navigate the river of life of my life.
— Evan Murtha (3 months ago)
Allan taught me how to kayak. He turned me into a great kayaker and the history lessons he gave on our trips gave me a love of canal history. I'm actually crying right now because I'm just now learning that he passed away. A piece of Allan will be with me forever. Tally-ho.
— Missy Barnum (3 months ago)
I was saddened to read of Allan's death in the Bucknell Magazine--and so impressed to read the story of his life and these remembrances of him. I knew Allan and Betsy through the Bucknell Outing Club, and though it was a brief time, it was a memorable one. His kindness and competence stood out even as a young man, and I can see from the memorials that it continued through his lifetime. May good memories and the support of friends be with you, Betsy, and all your family and those near to you.
— Lin Poyer (4 months ago)
For the most part I have known Allan my whole life. That said though I can truly only remember three times in my fifty years and each time he did teach me something.
My first memory of him is when Allan and Betsy came to visit us in Hoopa, I was just a little kid then and I learned my uncle was tall. My dad had told his story of standing on saw horses while Allan was flat footed on the ground putting up sheet rock. Well I was there and I remember that clearly.
The next time I remember is when I was twenty four after my first bicycle trip down the west coast from Seattle to Hoopa to see my parents and fly to the east coast to visit family. I got to spend extra days with at Allan and Betsy, that too was the first time I got to meet my cousin’s. I learned then not to use so much pressure while using a screw driver after I cracked an outlet cover I was putting on for him at one of his jobs.
The last time was after I turned forty when I finally peddled across the states. When I came up with my route there place was for sure going to be one of my stops and it was a good thing too. My bike was not in the greatest of shape, no more patches and I had a slow leak that made it so I had to walk up the hills as well as a few other problems. Jeremy took me around so I could get parts for me to fix up my bike and then they said if I waited around for the weekend I could go on some river trips with them. Being the Quant I am, I could not pass up going out on the water and there Allan pointed out a few things to help navigate water currents. Those tips also work for tide currents that get pretty ripping around the island here in Washington state.
It is true I have not seen my uncles very much, hell, the last time I saw uncle Brian was back in 1989, but that is the way it goes. I know we share more then just a last name.
I don’t remember my dreams very often, but every so often something said or that I see well bring back a dream to my memory and that happened when my dad sent me a text that Allan had past. A dream came back to me from the night before, a dream of Allan. I remember in my dream he was healthy and moving around, I wanted to talk to him, but he walked around a corner and was gone when I went to look for him.
— Martin Quant (9 months ago)
I was first exposed to kayaking by a boyfriend. That relationship ended shortly before I met Allan and his family on the 1998 sojourn that started in Corning, NY. I attended only one day, but I’ll still never forget how he helped us navigate our way from Corning to Elmira. I was hooked and did every Susquehanna Sojourn after that (as many days as I could). On one of those sojourns Allan was out surfing a nice wave and I wanted to try it, so he hung out and coached me through doing it. That was probably what peaked my whitewater curiosity that I didn’t really explore until 2011 when I lived near Ohiopyle. I have also measured every other sojourn or group paddle safety briefing against his comprehensive and entertaining briefings ever since! None have come close! I also have many other “snapshot” memories of him. Like the time he had to fish me out of the water because I was up to shenanigans with other boaters. Looking at radar on my phone to determine whether or not we should get on the water. Just his laugh and his family’s teamwork in running the sojourns was something I admire to this day.
— Kelli (Smith) Majiros (10 months ago)
I met Allan and Betsy through the Bucknell Outing Club. I started the Club my Freshman year with my room-mate, Marty Pickands, and it had a small but devoted following for the next four years. I got really sick my Sophomore Year, dropped out of college, and was graduating a year late. So I got to meet a bunch of great people from the incoming Freshman class.
Truthfully, I noticed Betsy first. The was cute, and she could walk up to an aluminum canoe that weighed almost as much as she did, hoist it on her shoulders, and take it where it needed to go. But Allen quickly impressed me with his quiet strength, enthusiasm, and steadiness on a number of fall canoe trips. I may have helped get them together. Here's the story:
Betsy let me and other interested gentlemen know that she had a boyfriend back home, and we were all wondering what he was like. He came for a visit in late Fall, and came to a rolling session. We weren't impressed, but we were a tough audience. Then we went our separate ways. Late that evening I was in my room and got a call from Betsy. "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie! I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!
It turned out that Betsy had decided that it was time to break up with her boyfriend, and when she told him he got quite unpleasant. She left her room and went down the hall to be with friends. When she returned an hour later, her room was trashed. He'd thrown her clothes out the window, torn apart her bed and bureau, even poured salt on her houseplants! I didn't think she should spend the night there, and asked if she could stay with her friends. She could. I thought it would be a good idea if she got off campus the next day. "Allan Quant is leading a hike tomorrow. You should go."
And the rest, as they say, is history. She and Allen were the only ones on the hike. And they soon became everyone's favorite couple. They and their friends took over the Outing Club that spring, and ran it for the next three years.
I graduated in 1971, and we kept in touch. Allen came down for a weekend of paddling in West Virginia, where he managed to drop into two enormous holes: Washing Machine on the North Branch of the Potomac and the big high water pourover at Calamity Rock on the Cheat Narrows. They got married in 1972, and they dropped by the camp I was working at in New Hampshire. I remember how happy they were with each other! In 1973 I started Wildwater Designs in the gas station building in Eberly's Trailer Park, sleeping in the office. In 1974 I took a job at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Allan and Betsy were interested in working there, so I asked my boss, Payson Kennedy, if there were any openings. He said no. But later the office manager, Myra McCoy, told me that the place was growing fast, and there was a lot of turnover. She thought they sounded like great people, and if they came down, they would be hired.
They were. Allan started out as a guide and instructor, then became the Center's head maintenance man. Betsy started in the restaurant, but soon moved to the office and eventually was doing the books for this rather large, complex, and somewhat disorganized company. After two years they moved to their current home on Colonel Kelly Road. We kept in touch, though less frequently over the years. I watched them start businesses and raise a family. I heard about their Sojurn leadership.
Allan was one ofv the most competent and likeable people I know. He will be missed.
— Charlie Walbridge (10 months ago)
Allan was one of those rare people who lived life on his own terms but somehow managed to do so selflessly. He understood how to live in a meaningful way and then helped others to do the same.
One of my earliest memories of Allan involved the pommel horse, which anchored what was undoubtedly the most fun living room of all time. My brother Greg and I were playing with Mariah and Jermey, and Allan offered to show us how to use the equipment we'd only previously considered "a pretty good thing to support our fort." Afterwards I remember telling Mariah her dad was pretty cool. I could see she already knew that.
As a kid, I spent countless hours at the Quants' playing in the barn, climbing the silo, digging kittens out of hay bales and swimming in Chris and Kate's pond. As I got older sleepovers with Mariah were a regular occurrence and we would craft for hours in the wood shed, which Allan had outfitted for just that purpose. And of course, there was paddling and other water and woods adventures of all sorts. Through it all I remember the genuineness of Allan's presence. He lived actively in each moment, a commitment he made not only to himself but to everyone lucky enough to know him. Recently I threw some axes with Allan against the upended tree stump in their yard and remarked that even then, in the months leading to now, Allan's presence was remarkably unchanged. So was his aim.
My daughter Rosie, 6, has also asked that I share her favorite memory of Allan, which is when he showed her how she could pet a dog, even when she was really super scared. She recently overcame her fear of dogs and to this day credits Allan for assuring her that she could give it a try. Allan brought kindness, knowledge, humor and understanding to each moment and knowing him all these years is a treasure for which I'll always be grateful.
Saying goodbye to Allan is really hard, and we will miss him immensely. Betsy and Jeremy, we are holding you close in our thoughts and share in your pain. I hope we can all find some solace in knowing that undoubtedly, Allan's compass took him straight to Mariah.
— Shannon Braden (10 months ago)
I met Allan when I was about 7 years old on my first Susquehanna sojourn. All of us kids were drawn to him. It was probably a mix of his commanding presence, contagious warmth, and obvious inner child. Over the years, Allan became a legendary figure for me both in personality and stature. From water battles, to river stories, to his unending knowledge about the wildest things, you could talk to him about anything. I always walked away having learned something new. The sojourn and the experiences I had with Allan, the Quants, and the sojourners fill my dreams and the stories I tell my friends and family regularly. They are part of my most nostalgic self and the memories that I can see most clearly. I will always be grateful to Allan. He shaped my childhood summers. He brought people from different backgrounds and beliefs to a common current that still flows through us. Thank you, Allan. I am only a little sorry for the number of times I flipped you or slowed down the entire sojourn with my mass destructive properties. I will miss you and can’t wait to be back on the river where I know you will be forever.
— Megan Lundy (10 months ago)
Our hearts go out to Betsy and Jeremy. Your strength and resiliency has always amazed everyone. Allan has made such a huge difference in so many lives. Thousands of people's eyes have been opened to the Susquehanna and to paddling because of Allan. He impacted so many lives and opened up a world of exploration by canoe and kayak for so many people. His legacy will live on through you two, and all of the lives he touched. Everyone touched by a river trip with Allan is a richer person for it, and nothing takes that away as it goes on through all of these people. The sense of community the Quant family built on the sojourns is what the whole country needs now. Help each other, share food, tell good stories, laugh, and splash each other to solve differences.
— Cindy Adams Dunn (10 months ago)
As so many, I learned much from Allan on the Susquehanna Sojourns. "There's no bad weather just bad gear" is an Allan quote imbedded in my mind. It may have been tied to rainy mornings on my first Sojourn on the West Branch...when it rained at least 5 out of 7 days....or the Juniata which ended up in flood stage before the Juniata Jaunt was finished. I heeded his word and invested in Gortex and high tech gear that have kept me warm and dry for decades. Now as I guide people outdoors myself, I find myself quoting Allan and hope that the people with me learn to enjoy the outdoors in any weather just like I do. I am so grateful to Allan, Betsy and Jeremy for all they have shared.
— Lucy Heggenstaller (10 months ago)
Allan Quant will always will be THE Susquehanna, THE James — and yes, even THE Schuylkill — for this semi-intrepid kayaker, and beginning with the summer of 2007.
Some fond memories . . .
Before Launching: Allan’s you-had-better-attend-or-else-you-won’t-be-on-the-river-with-us Safety Talks, full of essential knowledge of river conditions ahead. He captivated his momentarily-captive audience by lacing all those nitty-gritty safety details with generous toppings of humor.
On the river: always teaching, encouraging, skillfully guiding us through the rapids and around (usually) the rocks, cheering us on with “you can do it” - “you’ve almost got it” - “keep paddling”!
Off the river: Allan’s consummate skill at backing that mile-long Canoe Susquehanna bus, with canoe trailer attached, up a steep hill, rocky walls on either side, hairpin turn half-way up the hill. No scrapes, no scratches, of course.
Betsy and Jeremy, my heart is with you both. I hope you are still able to enjoy paddling those rivers—and I picture Allan paddling along beside you, or maybe just ahead of you!
— Martha Lawrenz (10 months ago)
Paddle in peace Allan. 😔
My heart is heavy with the news of Allan's passing. Allan was the tall, bearded guy with the big laugh that lead the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy's paddling trips for over 13 years. Thank you Allan for all your help with the NPC trips and all the laughs while we were on the trips. Thank you for your kind encouragement, direct instruction, and confidence in my paddling that I didn't see. You were one of a kind and I was fortunate to be one of the many who got to spend time on the water with you.
— Renee' Carey (10 months ago)
Allen and his family brought and bring life to the waters of life.
— Thomas Rippon (10 months ago)
We looked up to Allan literally and figuratively. Betsey and Allan were the “mother and father” of the sojourn. We knew we could count on them for safety and to be there, ready and prepared, to help if something went wrong. Allan’s commanding, yet kind, voice signaled the start of an exciting and yet to be discovered day. Betsey, equally as strong to be sure no one or NOTHING was left behind.
And about those bus shuttle trips Allan…. I am sure you were always in the utmost control of the yellow land ark but there were a few people in the back that would occasionally have white knuckles and an elevated heart rate! Thanks for all the rides!
Boy do I feel lucky to have been out on a motorcycle ride with you and Jeremy last summer. It was such a joy to look back in my rearview mirror and see you and John Capwell smiling with grins from ear to ear! Keep riding and paddling my dear friend.
Andy, Stephanie, Sierra, Denali, and Tavan Davis
— Andy, Stephanie, Sierra, Denali, and Tavan Davis (10 months ago)
I’ve forgotten exactly when, but we were on a West Branch sojourn, and there was a young guy from LA—I think he was a VISTA volunteer—who was just absolutely awed by Allan. He couldn’t stop talking about him. “I wonder if Allan…,” “I’ll bet Allan…,” and that sort of thing. It was sweet, but it got to the point where the adorations were starting to sound a little like Chuck Norris jokes. Somebody (Matt Stan, I suspect) suggested we just run all the way with it as part of the after-dinner entertainment. So we found a scrap of paper and a pencil and in short order came up with a list of Facts About Allan Quant. As luck would have it, I found that scrap a month or so ago in a box of gear. It was pretty beat up, but here’s what I was able to make out:
• Allan Quant doesn’t get wet; water gets Allan Quant.
• Allan Quant doesn’t paddle upstream; water parts and gently ushers him upwards
• Allan Quant doesn’t roll kayaks, but sometimes he leans over and Earth rolls around Allan Quant
• There are no Class Six rapids because rivers saw Allan Quant and gave up.
• In a moment of optimism, physicists thought they could understand Alan Quant. They were wrong, but we still call the branch of science they developed Quant-ummm Physics. Its two greatest insights were that:
• Allan Quant’s only weakness is a Walter Groendyke, and
• the only force greater than Allan Quant is Betsy Quant.
So, a little bit of exaggeration. But not a lot.
— Duane Griffin (10 months ago)
New to paddling and bringing a boatload of Boy Scouts, I met Allan, Betsy, Jeremy and all the usual suspects on the 2004 Susquehanna Sojourn. It was just by chance, while searching for a High Adventure Light trip I was alerted to the sojourn. It was with a little trepidation that we arrived with a bunch of over energized 13 year olds but we also brought coffee and shared it. It was the key to our future with the sojourns that followed. Now Allan was not a big fan of our coffee bar because it caused paddlers to require more bathroom breaks, which in turn, slows down a trip's progress. However, he never held it against us as it did added another opportunity for the bonding of the group. As was mentioned in an earlier post, these trips were just fleeting moments of each year of participation. However they were special moments that created special memories for all involved. Allan was always available for a chat about (Insert Topic Here) and seemed to possess intimate knowledge of same. I must admit that although the scout troop participated in numerous sojourns, I continued to attend without scout accompaniment due to the draw of the friendships that were created and the steerage of the Quants. Allan, you are sadly missed. The world has lost another great steward of nature, people, and the list goes on. Thank you for your service!
— Ken Murr (10 months ago)
I've known Allan and Betsy for just about as long as I've lived here.I can't remember how we met them, perhaps through Chris Snyder and the Natural Food Store. My late ex-husband, Harry, our kids , Michael and Marcy who were very young, would be at the Barn where they lived. Allan and Betsy joined our running club, the Buffalo Valley Striders, and, I have a special and fun memory that comes to mind about the Addison Triathlon, Addison, NY. Allan did a lot of work at this old farmhouse I've lived in for many years, and in our first home here in Spruce Hills. Allan had such an exquisite sense of humor and anytime we needed help, he was here. Later when it was just me, he always answered the call. The Universe brings people into our lives that offer us something we may not have in our lives. With Allan and Betsy it was unconditional friendship and caring, fun, laughter, help, and the joy of an authentic life. I feel blessed to have known Allan and to have had Allan and Betsy's friendship. We have lost a beautiful man, inside and out. My children send their condolences as do I. May Allan's memory be a blessing to all who have known and loved him.
— Freddi Carlip (10 months ago)
I have many memories of Allan and the Quants from the many years our children played together and we were neighbors. I will always appreciate the Quant’s friendship and caring for my family.
Allan was an exceptional person and one of the most intelligent persons I have met. Allan used his self-described problem solving skills with good intent to help those in need. I cannot imagine how much Allan's family will miss his presence in their lives. Bless you, Allan. You were a good man.
— Isabella O'Neill (10 months ago)
It’s hard to organize my thoughts to say enough about Allan. We worked together on many, many projects over a lot of years. What stands out in my memory is Allan’s amazing intelligence and his creative approach to solving difficult problems. To say he was a problem solver is an understatement. He often did what seemed impossible. He made things work and he worked tirelessly at it. I wondered at how diverse his knowledge was. He was always teaching and explaining things to me, making me better at my work. (He even explained cell phones to me well over 30 years ago.) He was always experimenting to find better solutions, (and gadgets and tools and vehicles too).
Above all, he was a kind, thoughtful friend. One example was when I had to move all my heavy shop equipment from Lewisburg to Williamsport 22 years ago, the folks who said they’d help didn’t show up. But Allan was there and and pitched right in and he and I loaded everything into a big box truck and then he followed me and unloaded everything up here. He seemed to thrive on emergencies and constantly came through, smiling and telling stories all the while.
I hadn’t seen Al in a long time and for that, I am saddened all the more. I moved away and became wrapped up in life here, but many wonderful memories are still there for me.
Rest in peace, old friend.
— Bill Geyer (10 months ago)
Al and I paddled hundreds of miles together. When we paddled we rarely needed to speak. I had the good fortune of growing up next door to the Quants. They taught me and my brother to paddle canoes and took us on adventures from the French river and Algonquin park to the Everglades and of course down many rivers. I was 7 when my mom moved in with Chris next door to the Quants. I remember one of the first times going camping with the Quants. We hiked up bear gap, made camp and explored. It was coolest thing in the world, I was hooked. The Quants helped to start my lifetime adventure.
Al could fix anything. As a teenager I tagged along with him for a little while out on service calls. This is when I was first exposed to the guts of houses. From plumbing to electrical work and everything else he knew what to do. He would never get hung up on the problems but was always looking for the solution, the right solution. You could see the gears start turning in his head before you could even finish your question. Always calm and thoughtful. I’ve always admired Al’s ability to figure out a way. Now that I run my own farm, I find myself using skills I learned from Al. I rewired my pump house, changed out hot water heaters, built my walk-in, basic plumbing, and so much more. And when things went wrong, he could walk me through it over the phone. He was a great teacher and always there to help.
Now I run the bow of my canoe with Ellen in the stern. I always think of him when I’m on the water. I see the water the way that he thought me from years of paddling together. When you come to a rapid, find your line and keep paddling.
— Ian Hullings (10 months ago)
It is sad that Allan has left the world this early. He has done so much for so many, and could have had many more wonderful years. I was on many of his Susquehanna River sojourns, and looked forward to seeing him, Betsy, and Jeremy every year. And seeing him wearing his manly pink ribbons on his vest. My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family and friends.
— Arlene Taylor (10 months ago)
I only had one year to know Allan....but for me that has launched a whole raft of memories.....notable among them was his recounting of the "Feature of the Day". I came to the Sojourn totally blind to what was in store.....I knew we were gonna be on a river that I had grown up knowing about ( down in the Philadelphia area, I remember vividly looking at all the refrigerators and tires in the river along the Schuylkill Expressway. Anyone remember that giant car crushing place just as your turned left on the Expressway ? I was younger, so I was always watching out the window)
I knew nothing of the patterns of the river.....and never before had I ever kayaked on moving water ! I kayaked before on Finger Lakes, Genesee river in Rochester, NY area, streams, creeks etc....nothing of any "movement" scale like the Schuylkill !
Every morning, we had a safety talk and Allan explained the next Feature...that first morning was my most memorable one. thunder storms were predicted....you can't paddle in rain, right ??? that's what I understood.....
I remember standing in front of Allan....probably with eyes as big as could be...."what do we do when it rains ?" "how can we paddle in the rain "...he must've wondered what crazed person he had on his hands....
little did I know about the BRIDGE ! I had heard other newbies like me talking about it at dinner the day before and at breakfast....ME? I knew nothing about it....nope...never looked at videos of past years.....I was a total innocent.....besides, I was worried about THUNDERSTORMS !
Allan did say that if the storm got bad, we would hole up somewhere....okay....I could work with that plan....now to deal with the next idea....the bridge !
I diligently followed all the instructions....I can see in my face that I am never smiling.....I am wearing my "game face" .....paying attention to everyone...water....trees......rocks.....paddling !......staying back in my line......whew !!
I made it through the bridge...took on water, but stayed in my boat.....and after that, I learned that yes, I can paddle in rain ( it's even kinda nice), I can read water and it's movement........I can run rapids......and I can put up tents in rainstorms and sleep through thunderstorms.....and yes.....I can remember that Allan sent me on that path of being comfortable with all that.
thanks, Allan ( and thanks Jeremy for continuing to lead us the second year).
— Jennie Liedkie (10 months ago)
I started paddling with Allan, Betsy, Jeremy and Matt on a Schuylkill Sojourn in 2006 and have ever since. I enjoyed my time with them so much, I ventured onto Susquehanna Sojourns they led, spending a wonderful week or two with the Quants each year.
I truly enjoyed their company, leadership, confidence, knowledge, story telling, and caring ways. I loved starting each sojourn morning with Allan’s energy, enthusiasm and humor. As I was learning to paddle I would work to the front of the pack just so I could paddle beside Allan and hear his wonderful stories. He taught me so much history of the river, and much about life in his calm, disarming way.
Allan had such a gift for teaching, he made you feel so competent about the skills you got right, while teaching you about what you could improve, without ever making you feel bad at anything.
When my son’s kayak got a huge hole in it that filled the entire back hatch with water on the first day of the Schuylkill Sojourn, Allan sent us to Lowe’s for plumbers putty and gave us directions of exactly how to easily fix it. And it made the balance of the week and then some! Allan always knew how to fix everything. He even whipped out a screwdriver and adjusted my thigh braces while on the water.
Most of all Allan (and Betsy) shared their hearts, their love of nature, kayaking and friendship that inspired me to be a better person. I feel grateful to have had Allan and Betsy touch my life.
Betsy, Jeremy, Matt, you are all in my heart.
— Michelle Hnath (10 months ago)
Over many of the years that we knew Allan, he was our go-to guy for plumbing, electrical, heating—you name it, and he did it well. Through it all, Allan always made us feel as if our visits were occasions of friendship rather than business, as we shared stories and laughter. We like to think he felt the same way. We remember him as an enthusiastic and careful teacher, a good soul, and a truly gentle man. Like so many whose paths he crossed, we are left with fond memories and vivid recollections. Everyone has an Allan story—or two or three—and we’re no exception.
One such would be the time he helped Larry move a LARGE refrigerator up to a second-floor apartment, to which a narrow stairway jogged immediately right and back left before going up. Larry took the upper end, and mostly kept it from banging against walls. Allan took the bottom and carried at least 95% of the weight—no strain, no sweat, just smoothly and quickly to the top of the stairs. Such was his strength.
A second story would be of the time we were to meet Allan at that same apartment in downtown Lewisburg to discuss some other necessary change. As we were pulling through the alley behind the house, a young bear loped from the yard directly in front of our car. Seeing us, he stopped suddenly, wheeled around, and headed back through the yard to North Third Street, where Allan had just parked his truck. The bear saw Allan and bolted south, with Allan in hot pursuit. The bear made it to Market Street, where it sought refuge in a wobbly young tree across from the Campus Theatre. We suspect Allan had tired it out, and it just needed a break. We were never sure exactly what Allan intended to do if he had caught up with that bear, but as he described the chase to us he wore that beautiful, ear-to-ear Allan grin. He was always so much in the moment, especially when that moment involved some interaction with and appreciation of the natural world.
And one more: Every late spring, Barb’s parents traveled to Lewisburg to attend Bucknell’s reunion weekend. In 1999, when they were both 80, they signed up for a river trip from West Milton to Lewisburg in Allan and Betsy’s “big canoe.” When Barb learned of their adventuresome choice, she decided to join in the fun and try to assist the process. We had full confidence in the Quants, but both parents were large people and were not as nimble as was needed to board and exit a canoe on their own. Allan’s confidence, calm approach, and willingness to take on a challenge was appreciated so much, as he practically had to lift them into the canoe. Once again the impressive strength of our good-natured, capable, and generous friend, who was always a good sport, made possible a memorable experience for two very happy elders.
We count ourselves among the fortunate people whose lives were enriched by Allan and his many talents and interests, and we are grateful to have known him. We’re feeling the loss of such a good man.
— Barbara Schnure and Larry Lawson (10 months ago)
In my memory, the most wonderful quality about my Uncle was how he made me laugh. His laugh was contagious and the sound of it would fill a room. I really looked up to him and thoroughly enjoyed his depth of conversations. He was a GREAT leader and a gentle teacher. I agree with all those who have said they felt safe around him. His presence was always so comforting because he really could problem solve anything! Growing up, I appreciated all the lessons I learned on my Aunt and Uncle's farm. I really took to the farm life while visiting, and I credit them for putting the desire in my heart to live a wholesome, meaningful life. Both Allan and Betsy had a way of lovingly rubbing off like that on everyone they met, always inspiring others so generously in the way they needed it at the time. I am so thankful that my Uncle has touched the lives of so many people, his life is certainly full of great inspiration. My hope now is that we may all honor him by living out some of his best qualities in our own lives. I say some because I think it might be hard to live up to his complete standard of living! What a beautiful life he lived. Enjoy heaven for us until we get to see you again big Uncle. Much Love, your Niece "Dink".
— Danielle Quant (10 months ago)
Quant Chronicles – A History Story
My story about Allan begins with Betsy, 50 years and only a few miles from where I now sit. Betsy and I were college freshmen with adjoining rooms. My extracurricular expectations were more mainstream, but Betsy quickly became involved with weekend activities that brought her back to campus exhausted, filthy, smelly, and covered with bruises. She would tell stories of endurance, terror, survival, and the fearless leaders she followed down whitewater rivers with the Bucknell Outing Club. Charlie Walbridge was one of those, but it wasn't long before Allan's name became a part of every conversation. Somehow I got caught up in the excitement, and my life's trajectory was changed.
Allan and Betsy quickly grew closer together, and by sophomore year they shared a 17' travel trailer with Allan's Irish setter, Maggie, on the flood plain across the Susquehanna from campus. In the fateful summer of 1972, the two secured summer jobs in Maine where they married on the beach before returning to find their camper had been swept downstream by Hurricane Agnes. The upgrade this required was only a few feet longer. In due course, I moved into an abandoned gas station next door, and over time other Outing Club friends bought campers and became neighbors in the “Eberly Trailer Park Conspiracy.” Many long nights were spent crammed around the camper's dinette table, spinning plans of communal living and dreaming of life's possibilities. One memorable night, after sharing a bottle of Boone's Farm Apple Wine, a spontaneous moonlight paddle of nearby Chillisquaque Creek took place.
We all learned a lot those last two college years. Camper water systems froze routinely in the winters, and heaters failed to light. Allan and Betsy worked a summer at a campground, honing skills in maintenance and customer relations. Senior year, Allan devised an independent study course in temporary shelter, experimenting with tarps, yurts, tents. Betsy and I studied organic gardening.
After graduation, A & B went to fledgling Nantahala Outdoor Center, where Betsy became office manager and Allan taught canoeing. I went down in August for a visit and secured a job beginning Labor Day. In those days, job descriptions were flexible, and Allan and I found ourselves working together to clean motel rooms, hand-dig the Center's septic field, and, of course, lead canoeists down rivers. One notable night we pulled into a riverside campsite after dark, and Allan wearily climbed into his home-made pickup truck camper while I slept in my tent. In the midst of a deep sleep, I heard the roar of a train and saw its engine lights rapidly approaching. While I cringed in terror, hoping I'd not camped on the tracks, Allan took a more proactive approach and kicked out the round Plexiglas window of his camper, stood there in dazed confusion as the train passed by only feet away.
I left NOC in the fall of 1975, and the following year A & B moved back close to the place they met, buying a few acres of land with a large barn. They built a living space in the shelter of that barn's roof, where both children later were born. For a while I lived in the milk house and another friend in the grain room. Over the years, this “ranch” became a short-term home to many otherwise homeless souls. While it wasn't the commune planned around that camper's dinette table, it had many of the best aspects of it.
It has been interesting and gratifying to read so many stories from friends and family who have known Allan in different times or places, to put together a picture of a life well-lived. I thought my reflections might add a piece to the jigsaw puzzle. My life is only one of many that have been indelibly changed by my friendship with the Quants. Without their influence I wouldn't have learned to love rivers, wouldn't have moved back to Lewisburg, and wouldn't have known most of the people reading these words.
In one of my more recent talks with Allan, he told me, “I never knew where life might take me, but I always knew it would be with Betsy.” And so it was.
— Sue Goddard (10 months ago)
To everyone who has or will share memories &/or pictures: Thank you so much! I am enjoying them all so much and hope everyone else is as well!
— Love, Betsy (10 months ago)
Once I met Allan, I felt like I'd known him my whole life and valued his friendship greatly. He would go to any height to help out in a tricky situation - like removing dead squirrels from roof traps when there was an attempted gnawing takeover of my attic. He would go just as far in the opposite direction to replace a basement sump pump or clean out a condensation line. If I needed help with any problem, no matter how mundane or how unusual, Allan would be there to help. I think of his early-morning return of my Alzheimer's -afflicted husband who had set out walking to find his childhood Canadian farm.
Allan's friendship wasn't just based on rescue operations. He was genuinely interested in what other's had to say and he willingly shared his own incredible breadth of knowledge. I never interacted with Allan when I didn't come away with new knowledge about an amazing range of subjects, such as raising sheep, riding motorcycles or the inner workings of a mechanical or electrical instrument.
Allan was a solid friend, an amazingly skilled craftsman, had a wonderful sense of humor, was a great storyteller and , simply, was a genuinely nice person. His friends and family will feel his loss forever. I send my very best wishes to Betsy and Jeremy.
— Gail Stan (10 months ago)
Those of us from the Washington, DC area who love to paddle always traveled to Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware over the years for sojourns, many led by the Quants. In 2010, a sojourn was organized on the middle James River here in Virginia. It was still a long drive from our homes but the experience will always be remembered for perfect July weather, unique campgrounds, CSX trains, and challenging and sublime paddling. Two memories of the trip stand out - a particularly challenging curve where the river narrowed and the water was fast, the run was interrupted by woody debris and rocks. Allan and assistants, as they always did on every sojourn, positioned themselves at the obstacles and guided us through.
The second memory had to do with safety and a trio of gentlemen who would not abide by the rules on the river who were firmly reminded at least three times. They were not with us when the trip ended a week later. With Allan, you paddled safely or you didn’t paddle.
To Allan - expedition leader who help us conquer obstacles and fears and for opening up for enjoyment the most challenging of rivers.
And to Betsy and Jeremy for letting us share so many adventures with you and the extended family that was created with every sojourn.
We will always remember.
— Merrily Pierce (10 months ago)
Uncle Allan is a very important person in my life. Indeed, the backdrop of my fondest memories is the farm. Allan, Betsy (my mother’s sister), Mariah and Jeremy made it a true Shangri-La and a place to go for respite, reflection and to learn something new. As a child they welcomed me to visit every summer and I looked forward to it each year. I am still excited to see crabapple blossoms because that meant that my Lewisburg trip was around the corner.
As a child on these summer trips Allan included me in: search and rescue dog training (Jeremy, Mariah and I would hide in the forest for Sarge or Tonka to sniff out); planning a (very local) fireworks display with Mariah, Jeremy, Ian and Ryan; daily adventures on the Susquehanna with a requisite stop at The Fence; shooting guns and chucking icepicks.
It was with the Quants at Allan’s behest that I learned to ride a 2-wheeler and then how bike gears worked (Brian Q.- I read your remembrance and realized a pattern). Allan is the reason I choose New Balance sneakers and accepted the value of a floppy hat. He tried his best to teach me how to change the oil in my car (bless him – that lesson never really stuck!).
A favorite memory I have was when I was 10. Allan and Betsy took 5 kids (neighbors Ryan and Ian, me, Mariah and Jeremy) on a multi-day drive across an international border to the Algonquin boundary waters of Canada. We portaged and canoed each day between kettle moraines to the next primitive camp site. Allan taught me proper G.O.R.P. etiquette (take a handful and eat that - don’t eat just the apricots!), the phrase “what can I do to help?” and how far away one really can get from civilization. By some miracle he managed to smuggle a collapsible Dutch oven and cake mix (!?) on the trip, so we enjoyed dessert al fresco. As a novice camper and city-kid I needed a lot of coaching to make it through that trip, but in the looking back I see how special (and what an undertaking!) that was, and am so grateful that Allan thought to include me.
As an adult, I have taken my children, now 10 and 6, to the farm as often as we could muster. I saw them share the same delight that I remember from my childhood as they rode in motorcycle sidecars, shot bb guns and visited with the sheep. Thank you, Allan, for giving me many life lessons and memories that now span the generations. You will be sorely missed by me, Edward and the girls.
— Leah Barnum (10 months ago)
I’ve often said to my husband, Richard Lake, that some of the very nicest people I’ve EVER met, is through Susquehanna Sojourn. I’m forever grateful for having known Allan Quant. His storytelling never failed to fascinate me, and he was always so generous with sharing his vast knowledge of anything asked of him. The three words that resonate with me regarding Allan is:
KIND - GENEROUS - CAPABLE
I always felt safe with him, whether it be on the river, in the sidecar of his Ural Motorcycle or taking shooting lessons from him. I will miss him for the rest of my life.
— Toni Lake (10 months ago)
Iris and I have known Allan, Betsy & their family since 1988, when we purchased our first home in Lewisburg, originally a brick farmhouse dating from about the 1850’s. We were so fortunate to have Allan play a significant role on the Geyer & Gyekis renovation team's complete restoration of the house over a three-month period. Allan totally changed the heating, electrical and plumbing systems. Brian Quant also energetically took part. Allan and I periodically joked about how Brian parked his motorcycle in the middle of our living-room space during the beginning stages of the project.
Has there been a year since 1988 that Allan didn’t swiftly respond to our needs?
I often look at many places in our home and think that this entire building is a symbol of the endless expertise, creative solutions and practicality that Allan brought to addressing our house’s problems over these many years. Allan always met any work challenge with such enthusiasm and positive energy, along with his pleasure gleaned from conversation and the sharing of his process with us. He was a born teacher.
In these later years Jeremy often accompanied Allan to assist on some of our bigger home restoration projects. It is so clear to us that Jeremy inherited Allan’s vivid curiosity, creative invention, passion for knowledge, nature, the arts & travelling – all with a kind & humane spirit.
The last project with which Allan & Jeremy helped us in the summer of 2017 was essential preparations for our daughter Sarah and Ian's wedding party in our home & backyard. What a coincidence it was for Sarah & Ian to soon purchase their first home in Mount Vernon, New York: Allan’s birthplace.
So many of us will miss Allan. Iris, Sarah, Ian and I send our condolences and love to Betsy, Jeremy and the entire Quant family~ with fondest thoughts always of Mariah.
— Bob and Iris Gainer (10 months ago)
Safety first, fun always.
Surround yourself with good people.
Speak and lead with confidence.
If you run into turbulent water, PADDLE until you reach safety, calm water.
— SHARON S (10 months ago)
Many years ago, when visiting my Uncle Allan and Aunt Betsy, I was given an introductory lesson to the ways of farming and Allan was my mentor. One of my fondest memories of Allan was when he taught me (a suburban kid with no clue what to do on a working farm) the rudimentary techniques of steering a tractor and harvesting. Returning from an afternoon of working in their field, I covered in green patina of plant matter. Betsy laughed and I could not have been more proud. Allan had always been a kind and thoughtful teacher. That day was no exception. He taught me to appreciate what it took to bring food to others. What a wonderful lesson. I cannot thank Allan and Betsy enough for the privilege of sitting on their porch with a cold drink in hand, reflecting on the day and being grateful for all the accomplishments￼￼￼ that came with it. It was truly a special time. Thank you, Allan.
— Doug Varga (10 months ago)
Life is so fragile; I still see Allan as a person that accepted any challenge, handling it with confidence and reassuring grace, and to the end, he continued to show us his remarkable self. The good times we shared with Allan are both personal and plentiful. Goodness knows he taught me a lot (not that I ever caught on fast enough!). I think everyone remembers when Allan told me to do a “broad sweep” at the top of Kelly Rapids that ended in me swimming down the rapids without my kayak! Anyway, we all have memories of Allan, and each are special. But I believe this is what makes life so meaningful - the memories we give to others and the memories they leave with us. In the end, this is all we really have......
We will miss Allan in ways words cannot explain, but he made us all better people just through knowing him, and I am certain he wants us all to go out and continue to share memories - let’s hope 2021 will allow us to do just that!
— Candy Trace (10 months ago)
The world lost a special man. I had the privilege to go on a numerous Susquehanna Sojourns led by Allan and Betsy. It was a wonderful experience. After growing up on the Susquehanna but being away from it for years, I cherished the times spent on the sojourns. The Quants made it a memorable experience. Even when I locked myself out of my camper,and Allen crawled down through hatch, (i still don't know how he managed that) he was so calm about it. Or when I became ill and had to return to the camper, he towed me back up river to our put in spot. I will never forget Allen. I wish the best for Betsy and Jeremy. Allen R.I.P. the world will miss you.
— Maureen (Moe) Banner (10 months ago)
For somebody who never seems to run out of things to say, this one has me pretty speachless. I've been trying to find that "one" memory that really puts in all together, but I can't. There are just to many. The one thing that has been replaying in my head is Allan's laugh. It was loud and memorable. More than anything, I remember his laugh. Sometimes it was at me... sometimes it was with me... or just because of me, but it's something I hope to never forget.
Lexi (7) would also like me to add- her favorite memory is on our visit last year Allan let the kids dig in the manure pile. Im not sure if that says something about my parenting, but they were both more than happy to play with the "digger" and dig in shit.
I will add, I absolutely love that I got to be a kid with the Quants. There are so many things I never would have been able to experience if it wasnt for them. I am forever thankful to have all of you in my life. I will never be able to truly express how each of you have changed my life and continue to influence it. From trying my first ever quiche (which I wouldnt master until last year lol) to making my kids run across the yard and grab the biggest maple leaf they could find, your influence is boundless and forever appreciated. Much love to all of you.
— Elana Carr (10 months ago)
I met Allan at the Bucknell outing club. I had the great pleasure of hanging out with him on all my return visits to Lewisburg. I am very glad to have had his friendship.
He very knowable on great many subjects, very knowable on local history, and a great talker, story teller. I will miss him!
— LAMAR HAUPT (10 months ago)
Many of us would only see Allan a few days a year, on the Schuylkill Sojourn (or a couple weeks more, if we could manage to follow him on the Susquehanna, James or wherever the Amazing Quants provided expert river guidance), but we probably feel like we’ve known him all our lives. He had that kind of impact. He was sorely missed every time he wasn’t river-running with us. But Allan is like a favorite song or movie. He will always be with any of us who has had the distinct honor of spending any “quality time” with him.
He is respected and appreciated in his circle of influence like no one I’ve ever met. Never have I heard anyone speak of him in anything but glowing terms of admiration. In our precious few encounters, I learned so much about kayaking from him that I like to say, “Anything important I’ve ever learned about paddling I've learned from a Quant.” But every paddler in his orbit has benefitted from his vast experience, immense knowledge, extraordinary paddling skills, masterful instruction, and warm, engaging personality.
Years ago on the Schuylkill Sojourn, I met a young woman while I was on “carnage cleanup” duty in an eddy below the Felix Dam rapids. She had just made it safely through her first-ever rapids and was waiting in the eddy for the rest of the Sojourners to file through. As we sat there, she revealed to me that for some time she and her father had planned on doing this Sojourn together. But her Dad passed away earlier that year before they were able to realize their dream. So she decided to try it solo for a few days, to honor her father. She was not confident in her paddling skills and was really worried about going through Class II Kelly’s Rapids just ahead, especially after the “gloom & doom” safety meeting that we always get that morning! In fact, she was so scared that she was trembling. After Allan had safely guided everyone through Felix Dam and the group was moving ahead, he paddled up to her, still lingering in that eddy. He calmly and patiently talked with her. He offered clear instruction and tips for a successful passage through those not-as-scary-as-they-sound rapids ahead. And he convinced her that he and the safety team would guide her safely into and through Kelly's and be there to get her right back into her boat if she did take a spill. So, reassured, she paddled with us down to Kelly’s and negotiated it without a hitch. Her confidence soared for the rest of her time on the Sojourn! Just another day in the life of Allan, but I am certain that both that daughter and her father were feeling very proud at that moment. I’ll never forget what he did for them that day.
I remember, just as fondly, all the impromptu conversations we had on-river and off. I think I improved my paddling just so I could work my way to the front of the pack to hear his stories about rescue dogs, special paddling techniques, past Sojourn moments, the affects of geography on humanity, and so much more. He always had a thoughtful, in-depth understanding of every subject we broached. And more recently, he entertained and amazed us with his recollections of his “Deliverance Days” around Matt Stan’s “Cooped Up Campfire.“ I can assume Allan wasn't feeling his best that night, but you wouldn’t have known it from his sparkling, captivating re-telling of those tales.
This “manifesto” recounts only a fraction of the memorable moments and life-shaping experiences Allan has bestowed upon me. I appreciate his influence on my life more than can be imagined. Thank you, Allan.
— Brian Swisher (10 months ago)
The Sky River welcomed a new paddler on Nov. 7, when Allan Quant ran his final set of rapids here on Planet Earth.
Although we typically think of our rivers as running here on the surface of the earth, scientists call the currents of moisture circulating above us atmospheric rivers, and that is where I picture Allan today, on his sit-on-top kayak, paddle poised across his lap, bronzed legs stretch before him, with a smile so wide and bright it is illuminating the path of his fellow paddlers above.
They are dancing through the rapids and catching their newly found breaths within the eddy pools, and floating beside Allan is his daughter, Mariah, united once again in love and laughter and river spray.
I propose that when the waters of our Mighty Susquehanna run with wild abandon again in the spring that we gather together and honor Allan with a paddle – not a paddle for Allan but a paddle with Allan, for we all carry a piece of his spirit in our river hearts. I promise to return home to Pennsylvania for this joyful reunion.
So, today, go outside and raise your paddle to Allan and thank him one final time for being a steward not only of the Susquehanna River but also a steward of the people who called the Susquehanna Valley home.
Thank you, Allan. I will miss you. We will all miss you.
Paddle on, friend. Paddle on.
Former Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper
— Carol Parenzan (10 months ago)
I lived in Allan and Betsy’s milk house and barn where several other local business owners got their start over the years. It was the original “Keystone Opportunity Zone” providing affordable housing and excellent advice for start up businesses. My good fortune in riding in Allan’s wake went on from there.
The house next door went up for sale. We quickly put a hand painted sign up on Quant property “Registered Yorkshires” to deter any other prospective buyers of property. We did a few other things involving fish emulsion (which doesn’t smell great).
In the coming months I bought the house. It became rather lonely. Al truly the “problem solver” said “There is a ready made family in Vicksburg”.
The rest is history Kate Lesslie and I started seeing each other. In three years we were married. She had two of the most incredible children Ryan and Ian which wonderfully fulfilled Al’s promise of “ready made family”.
Allan and Betsy treated our kids as theirs. They took them on all kinds of adventure such as paddling in Florida.
More importantly it was the values that Al lived by decency, honor, always willing to help anyone, anytime.
It would take pages to count the ways he helped us and others. I will end with one of the few times Al asked me to “help” him.
Al had repaired a boiler for an elderly woman. She may have been the first person he encountered not to have confidence in him. He asked me to come along as “the factory rep”.
He explained all I needed to do was be “quiet and nod affirmatively”. After
arriving at the home, I was introduced as the “factory rep” and we proceeded to the basement. Al explained to me and his client the work he had done. I nodded to each repair Al had made. She was now satisfied with his work.
Lesson learned for me too in that sometimes projecting confidence and keeping my mouth shut can be a good thing.
Al was ALWAYS there when ANYONE needed him no matter how small or difficult the problem he would help.
— Chris (10 months ago)
Yes, Al was, most definitely, a problem solver, but he was the very best kind of problem solver. It was important to him that you fully understood the problem and its solution. He taught you how to solve the problem yourself. Al was a teacher. His curiosity knew no bounds. His knowledge was vast. More importantly, he was always willing to share that knowledge. He was generous and patient with his time. He was kind, willing to drop anything to help at a moment's notice.
I learned from Al:
how to paddle a canoe or kayak
how to jump start a car
how to snake out a toilet
how to clean the calcium out of a water heater
how to use a pressure washer
how to use firearms
how to use a compass and read a topographical map
how to cross country ski
how to train a dog
how to correctly run
how to drive a vehicle with a trailer attached
and so much more.
I greatly appreciate all the problem solving Al did for myself and our family, always with a gentle hand and that sparkling humor. I appreciate even more all this sharing of knowledge. I will always be thankful for knowing one of the finest of teachers. I know so many others of his 'students' who feel the same. We are truly fortunate for having known him, not only for what he shared, but for who he was as a person:
a fine example of what it means to be a good man, a decent and kind human and an exemplary teacher.
— Kate Lesslie (10 months ago)
I first met Allan when we both served in the board of POWR ( pa organization for watersheds and rivers). After that I would call on the Quants to lead paddle trips for my Lycoming College classes in ecology and aquatic biology along the West Branch Susquehanna . Their enthusiasm was infectious and students still remember these outings. Gail and I remember our last function with Allen at the celebration of the Loyalsock Creek being named river of the year. The water on the “Sock” was not navigable, so we moved to Rise Valley lake. His voice for the river - all rivers will be missed.
— Mel and Gail Zimmerman (10 months ago)
Allan was a great friend to the Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC) and other groups working to introduce new friends to the lakes and rivers in central Pennsylvania. I am grateful to have had many opportunities to paddle with and learn from Allan and I will miss his knowledge and expertise, as well as his calm temperament. MARC and the Stoudt family send our deepest condolences to Betsy, Jeremy, and the Quant family. We will miss you, Allan. Paddle in peace.
— Bob Stoudt - Montour Area Recreation Commission (10 months ago)
“The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” John Muir
The Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau sends prayers, hugs, and condolences to the Quant family. We enjoy our time working together and floating the river.
— Linda Sones & the Staff and Board of the CMVB (10 months ago)
We will always be grateful for Allan's quick and reliable help when our plumbing and heating decided to take a break. We knew he had other calls to make but he would respond quickly and never leave without making sure we understood the problem and ways to troubleshoot if applicable. An added treat was talking with him about our dogs and just plain "catching up" from the last call for help. I am also forever grateful and fortunate to have learned a "thing or two" about paddling down the Susquehanna. A good man and so kind. Our thoughts are with Betsy, Jeremy and the entire family. May the memories of Allan bring you peace and comfort.
— Cindy and Ed (10 months ago)
I am finding it very difficult to find the words to express how much Allan, Betsy. Jeremy and Mariah have influenced my life. Allan and his family first entered my life when I was 14. It was on the 1994 sojourn and almost immediately I felt a connection. Over the years I have shared thousands of stories, life lessons, river miles, laughing, crying, and watching my hero navigate the challenges of life without missing a beat. Mariah's death devastated me as I was deeply in love with her. 6 months later my mother passed from cancer. Allan and Betsy opend their home to me even as they where processing the loss. Allan and I spent countless hours talking about our shared interests in dog training, paddling, historical firearms and numerous topics. Allan was such a perfect example of a family man, mentor, father and husband. Early on when I was dating Mariah Allan invited me to help him hang sheetrock in the rental house he was remodeling. As we where working he was teaching me to feather a joint. Without missing a beat he looks at me and said, " so your dating my daughter, how serious is this".
Recently my wife was in a life threatning car accident and I turned to Allan for support. Even in his last months of life he was giving guidance.
One of Allan's favorite poems was by Robert Frost. " Two roads diverged in a yellow woods." Well buddy you certainly took the path of less travel and that has made all the difference. God speed and thank you for everything.
— Aaron Myers (10 months ago)
A few years ago I visited Allan and Betsy at Brian's place in Vero Beach. Allan and Betsy trailed down some kayaks for the occasion, and we paddled the everglades. Not being the outdoors enthusiasts that they all are, this was my first time in a kayak. Allan did his best instructing me in the art of paddling - I really wasn't up to the task to say the least - and he kindly suggested that I stopped paddling. Needless to say, I had a lovely ride up and down the waterway, spied on eagles, and marveled at the scenery. His dog was in the bow enjoying the ride too. That is a marvelous memory I will always treasure. I am so proud of my brother - I think he got the lion's share of the brains and talent in the Quant family - no offense to the other two brothers! But he really was an outstanding young man. I look forward to hearing the stories from his many friends. I know I will be amazed.
— Vonnie Quant Bracamonte (10 months ago)
I first met Allan when he was 0 yrs old and I was 12. He was my brother from another mother. Not too many people can make that statement. For the next six years, I'd like to say I helped a bit in his first years of life. I do remember carrying him on my shoulders (I even have a picture to prove it). Another statement not too many can make. I remember one time when he came to visit us in Hoopa, CA. He helped me on a house I was rebuilding--I had to stand on a saw horse to nail the sheet rock on the ceiling, and he could do the same thing while standing on the floor. As Brian mentioned He was quite tall, in more ways than one. I'm goin to miss our long, but way too infrequent talks.
— Bill Quant (10 months ago)
So very many lessons learned..like not always listening when he suggested I respond “Is that all you got?” instead of the wet or dry question. Of course he knew.... as then my boat was filled with gallons from the locals making it impossible not to tip. When I ‘mentioned’ his part in my swim, he smiled and laughed an said with his usual twinkle “and you listened to me?” His humor was only passed by his patience and knowledge. I miss just knowing he is gone. So very sorry for your loss of a special human being who brought so much joy to paddling .
— Fran Griffin (10 months ago)
Allan was the wonderful blend of leadership, whitewater expertise, and fun. My favorite memory of him was when we were doing river cleanup as a service on the Schuylkill Sojourn. Allan and another legendary paddler, was it Pat who wore the FBI cap, found a couch and hoisted it and balanced it on both of their boats, then sat on said couch, and paddled down river. We roared with approval. Love Allan and have often thought of him, Betsy, and Jeremy at various points along the Schuylkill. Am grateful for having known him. Wishing Allan peace and sending strength to his family.
— Pat Dillon (10 months ago)
When Allan first saw me he was disappointed. He was hoping I would be more fun to play with , but seeing as I was just born, it would be a while before we could ride bikes and such. In fact, it would be him that really taught me to ride a bike. He took the training wheels off of my Schwinn Pixie and ran along side me with his hand under the seat. At least we started out with his hand under the seat , and I believed his hand was still under the seat. It wasn’t until the end of Betsy Brown Circle , you know ,down by Tremble’s lot, that he let me know that I had been staying up on my own since McDermott’s house. That was just one of a lifetime of things that my big brother did for me. He kept the big kids from teasing me ,(he could because he really was BIG brother). He and Betsy raised me like a son when I was 12 year old punk, and he redirected me so cleverly to finish High School in Lewisburg after I had left home (Port Chester) at 17 in my pickup truck headed for certain destruction . He even had the decency to bind my hands to my ankles with duct tape and toss me in the back of the truck and have Bob Sterba sit on me from Bucknell all the way back to the farm just make sure I got home safely. Trust me , I had it coming, and that was some good brothering. I’ve always looked up to him, well ,pretty much everyone had to at 6’4”,( except Charlie Walbridge) ! Allan helped everyone . It was his nature and it was how he went about making a living. You can’t swing a dead cat in Union County and not hit someone he has fixed something for or showed which end of the paddle to hold. This became apparent after the tragic loss of Allan and Betsy’s daughter Mariah. Even I didn’t realize how many people knew and cared about him and Betsy. He had to leave us, but I’d like to think he and Mariah are taking a nice walk together. You just rest easy Al, you’ve earned it , and you will be missed.
— Brian Quant (10 months ago)
Not everyone can look back and say they made a positive difference in this world – but Allan could proudly do so. I have missed Allan and Betsy the past several years on our Schuylkill Sojourns (and I have done 20) – but either Jeremy or Matt Stan are in charge now, and Allan has trained them both well. It pays to take advantage of a good example. It was great to see Jeremy grow into manhood summer after summer on our Sojourns. I still remember Jeremy as a young lad at our first meeting who could spout off every stat about boats, paddles, pfds with an encyclopedic catalog memory.
With Allan in the lead, Betsy in the rear as sweep, and Jeremy everywhere in between, our Sojourn expeditions were always expertly and confidently led. And the main goal was to have fun. I miss our chats as we paddled side by side on the Schuylkill at the front of the pack – about history as the WWII vintage aircraft flew overhead near Reading; discussing our Florida adventures; and sharing our mutual love of Border Collies.
Between Allan’s canine search and rescue and sheep herding; his trip leadership and teaching his “grasshoppers” to love the water and nature and paddling; or his repair skills off-season – Allan has always been a Giver, rather than a Taker in life, and so has his family. his briefings and teaching and humor were passed along with a professional nonchalance that put people at ease. Allan has always been a leader, a helper and a teacher (of humans and dogs). He set the tone!
Lots of people, male and female, young and old, love and respect him – and I am one of them. Allan was a strong, self-sufficient, confident, satisfied man, and an example to everyone. With his mantra of “giving it your all” and “no man/woman left behind” – he would have made a good Navy SEAL. I am proud to be his friend. Hooyah, Allan! Paddle! Paddle! Paddle!
David Kohler, CAPT, USN (Ret)
— Dave Kohler (10 months ago)
Allan embodied what it means to be alive. His zest for nature and all that entails of being fully enveloped by the natural world was inspirational. I met Allan through friends and am grateful to have experienced his ability to patiently teach skills and provide information on paddling and guiding. As a fifth grade teacher, I hired Allan and Jeremy to provide a paddling outing for students at Lake Chillisquaque in the Montour Preserve. Allan was wonderful with the kids and provided them with a sense of his love of paddling and the outdoors. Allan's gregarious nature and wealth of knowledge enhanced friendly gatherings. I am truly privileged to call him my friend and will remember our dinner get togethers with him and Betsy forever. Thank you Allan for being an inspiration.
— Ellen Schaefer (10 months ago)
Allan D. Quant, 67, of Lewisburg, died Saturday November 7, 2020 at his home. He was born November 28, 1952 in Mount Vernon, NY, a son of the late Harold R. and Ruth M. (Groendyke) Quant.
Entering Bucknell University in 1970, Allan found his ‘true self’ in the Bucknell Outing Club and his ‘true love’ in Betsy Justis. They married on August 19, 1972 and finished their Bucknell degrees in 1974. They spent two years at the Nantahala Outdoor Center near Bryson City, NC. In 1976 Allan and Betsy returned to Lewisburg and in 1978, Allan started his mechanical services business, Ironwood, and proceeded to solve innumerable electrical, heating, plumbing, and design problems for home and business owners in central PA.
In his spare time, he ran woods trails, competed in local bike/canoe/run races, won a 1987 USCA National Championship in marathon canoeing, volunteered with search and rescue using rescued German Shepherds, raised Katahdin Hair Sheep on their 12 acres called Voyageur Farm, renovated and rented housing units in Milton and Watsontown, and motorcycled the paved and dirt roads of central PA.
In 1992 he was invited to provide on-river safety for the 2nd annual Susquehanna River Sojourn. Thus began 24 years of providing on-water safety for scores of week-long river awareness trips on many rivers in PA, NY and VA. Through the many river sojourns and shorter river trips he offered via his business Canoe Susquehanna, Allan introduced thousands of canoe and kayak paddlers to the enjoyment of the rivers and lakes and shores of PA, NY, VA, MD, FL, and Canada, and inspired many of those folks to share their skills and love of the outdoors with others.
Recently, when asked how he has spent his life, his answer was "as a problem solver." That was true, whether your problem was in your paddling skills, home mechanical systems, training your dog, or negotiating your way through life, Allan was there with great insight and advice.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by one son, Jeremy Quant, of Lewisburg; three siblings, Brian Quant and his wife, Valerie, of Vero Beach, FL, Vonnie Bracamonte and her husband, Rick, of Santa Rosa, CA, and Bill Quant and his wife, Joan, of Lacey, WA; four nieces, three nephews, four grand nieces and three grand nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by one daughter, Mariah Quant.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no in-person memorial service. Please honor and remember Allan in your own way. An online event will be held to remember Allan on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:30 PM. Register for the live event or leave expressions of sympathy at RememberAllan.com.
Memorial donations may be made to the donor’s preferred prostate cancer education and early detection program, or the donor’s preferred river enjoyment & protection program, or to the Mariah Quant Scholarship Fund at the Lewisburg Area High School.