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In Memory of Allen Churchill

Levis Allen Churchill

  With great sadness we must report that the Pitt County Family Researchers has lost another great friend and genealogist when Levis Allen Churchill (called Allen by his friends) passed away at his home on Monday, Feb. 20, 2006, at the age of 75. Allen was one of those people that after you met them you were compelled to verbally proclaim “What a nice man!” He was warm, witty, kind, generous, compassionate, dependable and serious. And boy was he serious about genealogy.

         When Bill Kittrell called the first meeting of the Pitt County Family Researchers in the Fall of 1994, Allen was there as one of the founders. He was elected as the first Vice President of the group and then served as the second President of PCFR from 1996 to 1997. He then served on the PCFR Board several years.

         Everyone who knew Allen, knew how much he loved to help people research their family genealogy.  Allen’s own family history was rich with connections into numerous prominent and obscure families in Eastern North Carolina and Pitt County. He haunted the Pitt County Court House and the North Carolina Collection of the J. Y. Joyner Library at East Carolina University doing research. He even started his own genealogy collection on local families in the East Carolina University Manuscript Collection in the J. Y. Joyner Library.

          He apparently never knew a stranger because he would boldly ask anyone and everyone about their family history. Because he was so generous with his time and knowledge he made numerous friends all over the State and nation. He published nearly one dozen books on local genealogy, not to make money but to share with others. He then put copies of them in all the local libraries of the surrounding counties in hopes of helping someone.

         I knew Allen as a witty man who loved his family and his church, loved roses and loved to stay at their place on the Pamlico River. He and his wonderful wife Rachel opened their home to all their friends and it was always hard to leave because of all the laughter. Allen was a living resource about Greenville’s history since he worked at such vanished landmarks as the first Silo Restaurant and ran the movie projectors in the three Greenville theaters, the Pitt, The State and The Colony. He was a notorious night owl and it wasn’t unlike him to call a dozen times late at night to fellow researchers if he was working on a family. He was fun to be around and made you feel good about yourself.

         Allen Churchill was a native and lifelong resident of Pitt County. He was a graduate of Greenville schools and East Carolina University. He served a number of years as Assistant Clerk of Court for Pitt County and later began a career with East Carolina University as an Associate Professor with the Division of Continuing Education, retiring in 1992. He was an active member of the Hooker Memorial Christian Church. He was entombed in the mausoleum at Pinewood Memorial Park.

         At his death, Allen left his wife of 56 years, Rachel Little Churchill; a son, Levis Erik Churchill and wife Susan, of Graham, NC; a daughter, Rachel Erika Churchill, of Snow Hill, NC; grandchildren, Jakob Alexander Churchill and Kirsten Taylor Churchill; a brother, Mack Churchill, of Atlantic Beach, NC; and a sister, Carolyn Studeman and husband Daryl, of Atlanta, Ga.

         All of Allen’s friends know he was truly a wonderful person and he left a generous legacy to the future with all his publications. He will be missed.


Roger Kammerer
August 2005

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