Real estate broker and Mr. Leather64Ten 2018 winner Kurt Allen died unexpectedly Jan. 26. He was 56.
Allen was born May 26, 1963, in Wabash, Indiana, and graduated from Wawasee High School. He received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Ball State University and, later, an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Most recently, Allen was a Keller Williams Real Estate broker and a volunteer with the LGBTQ-focused Indiana Youth Group and Toys for Tots in Indianapolis. He also helped raise money for Broadway Youth Center.
Additionally, Allen was an active member of the Leather scene throughout the Midwest. Due to his status as the Mr. Leather64TEN 2018 winner, Allen was invited to be an International Mr. Leather (IML) 40 participant.
Allen is survived by his husband of four years, Chris Aiello; children Craig Allen (Jessica) and Sydney Allen; parents Luther and Janet Allen; sister Jill Usher (Hal); two nieces; and countless chosen family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Taylor Allen.
"Kurt was the kindest, most generous person I have ever met," said Aiello. "He would do anything for anyone. This is not just a devastating personal loss for me but a loss for our entire community. One that has been brought into sharper focus for me through the out pouring of love and support that I have received."
"My dad was a beacon of hope and light to the LGBTQ community," said Sydney. "He was a gentle soul that loved deeply and had a passion for making the community a better place. No matter where he went, he made sure that every single person felt included and safe. My dad lit up every room with his smile and his contagious laughter. He lived his life to the absolute fullest and his legacy will continue on."
"The first thing I remember when I met Kurt was his passion about life," said Leather64TEN owner and longtime friend Eric Kugelman. "Our conversation soon went to what he was raising money for. His enthusiasm towards helping LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, in most cases because they were kicked out of their homes by their parents. My fondest memories will always be what we accomplished together in raising money for both Indiana and Chicago programs but also of how proud I was to see him so happy on the IML stage. I enjoyed watching Kurt grow in his Leather Life experiences that expanded his horizons. He will forever hold a place of honor here at Leather64TEN."
"Kurt was like a son to me," said mentor and close friend Ms. Kendra. "I remember to first time I met Kurt he was competing in a contest. I instantly loved him. His energy and zest for life were always so engaging. Kurt was a wonderful Leatherman who gave so much too so many people. He will remain a close Leatherman to me always and I am better for having had him in life. Thank you Kurt for everything you gave us. Sir Jim and I were always so very proud of you. We will love you forever."
"Kurt was one of the most pure, selfless, kind hearted men that I have ever met; and that is not even scratching the surface," said another close friend, Brett Michael Seibert. "He cared a great deal about helping others succeed, the less fortunate, LGBTQ+ youth and his family. Kurt and I met several years ago in Indianapolis through mutual friends at a local event. He and his then partner Chris were so welcoming but the true jokester was Kurt. His laugh stood out and his smile could light up a room.
"When Kurt proposed to Chris they asked me to plan their wedding and that is when our friendship blossomed. From monthly to biweekly meetings, we spent half the time laughing or better yet, [with] Kurt calling Chris a Bridezillaall in good fun, of course. Together, we planned a beautiful beach wedding in Florida with their closets friends and family and then another bigger reception a week later back in Indianapolis. From there, the couple kept inviting me to help them plan other gatherings from Kurt's famous Pride brunches to Indiana Youth Group and Toys for Tots fundraisers all because those charities spoke to his heart. In our community, it is hard to find genuine people who want to lend a helping hand without anything in return but Kurt was all about giving back. Our community lost a strong advocate and leader and there will never be another one like him."
"Kurt was a top notch man that was full of love and compassion for all those he encountered," said friend Jacob Tipantasig-Wolverton. "His contagious laughter would fill the room and give everyone there great joy and happiness. Kurt's compassion for the children and youth of the community encompasses his enduring legacy. He would be seen throughout Indianapolis, helping raise funds for Indiana Youth Group and his annual Toys for Tots party. Kurt was also our personal realtor, helping my husband and I buy our first house together. He would swing by our house and drop off small gifts that were both meaningful and reminders to the wonderful memories we had together. Kurt will forever be in our hearts and someone that cared more for others than he did for himself."
Visitation will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, 12-4 p.m., at Broadway United Methodist Church, 609 E. 29th St. Indianapolis. A memorial service will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people make donations to Indiana Youth Group ( Indianayouthgroup.org ) and/or Toys for Tots ( Indianapolis-in.toysfortots.org ).