Thomas Allen


Thomas Lee Allen of Bemidji was called to his heavenly home, March 8, 2021, at the age of 61. The world has lost a loving and loyal son, brother, husband, father and devout Christian.

Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 15, 2021 at Evangelical Covenant Church, Bemidji. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m., Sunday, March 14, 2021 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Tom was born in Jackson, MN, on June 14, 1959, to Carol (Reith) and Dean Allen. Tom’s family moved to Winthrop, IA, when he was a young boy and then to Northfield, MN. Tom attended high school in Northfield and was the quarterback of the football team. He formed many lifelong friendships while in Northfield.

After high school, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Little Creek, VA. He spent time sailing the Mediterranean Sea on the USS Pensacola. After four years in the Navy, he returned to Minnesota where he received an Associate’s degree in chemical dependency counseling. Later, he moved to California to help others overcome addiction.

Tom met the love of his life, Audra Kay Ferdig, of Blackduck, MN, while they were working in Scottsdale, AZ. They were married on February 14, 1995, and then moved to Mesa, AZ. Their son, Christopher, was born March 29, 1997. The following year, Tom and his family moved to Pepin, WI, and became involved in the family owned restaurant, The Pickle Factory, on Lake Pepin. Their son, Matthew, was born September 19,1998.

After selling The Pickle Factory in 2004, they moved to Bemidji to be closer to Audra’s family. Tom took a job as manager at the Ground Round restaurant and in 2006, Tom and Audra purchased the Tutto Bene restaurant in Bemidji. Tom was an exceptional friend and host to all who frequented the restaurant.

They sold Tutto Bene in 2012 and Tom later combined his experience in the restaurant business and his love of golf as the restaurant manager of Bemidji Town and Country Club, a job he held until the time of his death. He loved the people and environment and enjoyed being able to sneak in a round of golf here and there. He also loved having Chris and Matt learn the restaurant business alongside him and having other family members join the team.

Tom was a beloved member and usher at Bemidji Evangelical Covenant Church. His favorite things were golfing, reading and crossword puzzles. He enjoyed spending time with his boys and his wife and traveling to see family and friends. Tom’s passion was golfing and one of his proudest moments was attending the high school state golf tournament to watch his son Matthew compete.

Tom is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Audra, his devoted sons Christopher and Matthew (Averie) Allen, his mother and step-father, Carol and Wayne Nelson of Pepin, Wi, his siblings, Mike (Laura Kay) Allen of Northfield, MN, Cathy Freeman of Rush City, MN, Tim (Jill) Allen of Lake City, MN, half-brother, Jason Allen of Stevens Point, WI. Tom is also survived by his mother-in-law, Mercein (Warren) Wittwer, sister-in-laws Becky Ferdig of Blackduck, Jessie (Matt) Sparby, of Bemidji, and numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Dean Allen, father-in-law, Robert Ferdig and step-sister Cathrin Lawton.

Related Topics: OBITS