Allen Lund, known in the Foothills as a "gentle giant" who built a highly successful transportation brokerage with offices across the nation and gave generously to further the education of others, has died, according to a brief statement released by his company Saturday afternoon.
"Just recently diagnosed with a very rare and fast moving cancer, Allen was surrounded by family and friends as he said his good byes," stated the news release issued by the La Cañada Flintridge-based corporate office of the Allen Lund Co. The exact date of Lund's passing was not given, but it was announced that a funeral mass has been set for 5 p.m on Saturday, April 14 at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.
Although his given name was David Allen Lund, he went by his middle name and chose it when naming his eponymous firm. According to voter registration records, he turned 77 last September.
It was as a small boy of 6 or 7, Lund recalled in a 2016 interview with the La Cañada Valley Sun, that he became enamored of big-rig trucks, as his father drove an 18-wheeler across the country for a living. That early look at the industry, first from the passenger's seat, intrigued him.
"I loved it," he told the Sun during that interview, on the occasion of his company's 40th anniversary. "I wanted to be the best at the earth-moving business and trucking. I wanted to be the best machine operator."
In 2010, while speaking before a gathering of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, Lund explained that the bulk of the goods his firm brokers transportation for is agricultural. Among the clients Allen Lund Co. served, he said at the time, were Costco, Pepsi Cola and Nestle. He said improved infrastructure and safety measures had resulted in a steady decline in truck accidents nationwide.
"Equipment, tires, engine, brakes, better braking materials, better technology — a truck nowadays is cleaner and safer. It's the nut behind the wheel you have to worry about," Lund told the crowd gathered for the meeting.
Devoted to his family and his Catholic faith, Lund held seats on the boards at St. Francis High School, the University of Portland and Homeboy Industries, and had served on the finance committee of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
His firm has been involved in — and a supporter of — the Corporate Work Study program of Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles, offering corporate internships at the Allen Lund Co. headquarters on Angeles Crest Highway. The school honored the company at its March 2017 gala for its support.
"I envision [the interns] becoming model citizens, they are educated young men who know a tough part of life and have risen above it. They can become the very best and most talented people we have in society," Lund said, according to a Verbum Dei announcement of the award.
In 2010, on the day Lund addressed the LCF Chamber of Commerce, Pat Anderson, its president and chief executive, described him as a "gentle giant" who had grown into an icon in La Cañada. She had a close-up look at his contributions, as the chamber rents its office space in the Allen Lund Co. building and the firm sponsors the fireworks show every Memorial Day weekend as part of La Cañada's Fiesta Days celebration.
"He does so much for the schools, both public and parochial, and he contributes substantially to the community," Anderson said at the time.
"This is an incredible man who has taken a business and built it from the ground up…and he treats all of his employees like they [are] family," Anderson said in that interview.