Walter Allen Szott died unexpectedly following a short illness on September 20, 2017. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1944, Allen grew up in Danville, Illinois, graduating from Schlarman High School in 1962. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Illinois in 1966 and a Master of Science degree in Economic History from Northern Illinois University in 1972.
After briefly teaching junior high mathematics for two years in Edwardsville, Illinois, Allen joined the federal Department of Energy. In 1974, he was transferred to the Washington, D.C., office and settled in Alexandria, Virginia. During his career with the federal government he served as an economist, program administrator, facilities manager, and system analyst for various government agencies. He concluded more than 30 years of government service in 2007 when he retired from the Internal Revenue Service. As important as those years of public service were, Allen denied being defined only by his work, as his many interests attest.
His passions included a love of theater, ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim, whether in New York, London, and local theaters. He was an avid traveler whose extensive trips spanned the whole of Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Egypt and from Ireland to Russia. In recent years his favorite destination was Iceland, which he and his partner Robert Wagner regularly visited, even over winter solstice. His fascination with Iceland culminated in an appreciation of Norse legends and prolonged study of the Icelandic language. Such intense study was not out of character; Allen was an avid reader with special interests in British History, historical fiction, Scandinavian noir, and Agatha Christie. More recently Allen began researching family genealogy. His more unique hobbies included tap dancing and knitting.
A life well lived.
He is survived by Robert Wagner, his partner of forty-four years. Other survivors include brother in-law Richard Wagner, and siblings Geraldine Szott Moohr, Thomas & Jennifer Szott, David & Kathryn Szott, and Brian Szott & Kathy Gilmore; beloved nieces and nephews Brian Szott, Meg & Corey Jacobson, Eleanor Gilmore-Szott, Allen Szott, and Julian Gilmore-Szott; and the most recent additions to the family, Oliver and Hailey Quinn Jacobson.
He is preceded in death by his parents Walter and Eleanor (Gibson) Szott, his brother in-law Roger Sherman, nephew Andrew Szott, and niece Abigail Szott.
Those wishing to acknowledge Allen’s life in lieu of flowers are invited to donate to The Andrew and Abigail Szott Foundation. The foundation provides financial support to working families who care for a child with cancer. The web site is https://www.szottfoundation.org .