Eitzen, Allan (1928-2008)

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Ruth and Allan Eitzen, 2004. Family photo.

Allan George Eitzen: artist; born 25 May 1928 to George and Agatha (Warkentin) Eitzen of Mountain Lake, Minnesota. Allan received an education in art from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota before moving to Scottdale, Pennsylvania, where he worked as an illustrator for Herald Press. 

It was there that he met his future wife, Ruth Carper (born 20 July 1924 to Reuben and Eva Weber Carper of Brickerville, Pennsylvania), who was developing educational materials for Herald Press. After a month’s acquaintance, Ruth moved to Europe for a four-year term with Mennonite Central Committee. During that time, she and Allan remained in contact and, after her return to the United States, they married on 12 July 1954. In the meantime, he had earned a degree in illustration at Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts).

Allan and Ruth moved to a country home in Barto, Pennsylvania, and had five children. He supported the family as a freelance illustrator of children’s books, magazines, and textbooks, often inspired by their idyllic country setting and his flock of sheep. When the children left home, he had more time to devote to his artistic medium of choice, printmaking, while Ruth continued her education at Temple University, where she earned a master’s degree in creative writing.

Together, Allan and Ruth wrote and illustrated three books: The White Feather (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1987); Ti Jacques: a Story of Haiti (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1972); and Tara’s Flight (Honesdale, PA: Boyd’s Mill Press, 2008), which was released ten months after Ruth’s death on 11 April 2007.

Allan continued working professionally as an illustrator until 2007, and as a printmaker almost to the time of his death. In a 2008 interview, Allan described his style as "stylized realism. . . simplification or slight abstraction . . . a little exaggeration here or there to give it a personal touch.”

Allan Eitzen died of cancer on 31 August 2008.


Groff, Anna. "Husband releases wife’s final peace book." The Mennonite (22 January 2008).

Illustrated Works Included

Search WorldCat for a list of works with Allan Eitzen as illustrator.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Problem by Arthur Conan Doyle and David Eastman, adapter. Mahwah, N.J.: Troll Associates, 1983.

Alphabestiary: Animal Poems from A to Z by Jane Yolan. Honesdale, Pa.: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press; [New York] : Distributed by St Martin's Press, 1995.

Cherry Tree by Ruskin Bond. Honesdale, Pa.: Caroline House; [New York]: Distributed by St. Martin's Press, 1991.

Corduroy Makes a Cake by Don Freeman and Alison Inches. New York: Viking, 2001.

Corduroy Writes a Letter by Don Freeman and Alison Inches. New York: Viking, 2002; Demco Media, 2004.

Deadly Snakes by Lisa McCourt. [Mahwah, N.J.]: Troll, 1998.

Dinosaurs Sticker Stories. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1997.

Let's Go to the Gullah Gullah Island Market by Ronald Daise. New York: Little Simon, 1996.

Mr. Bradley's Day of Surprises by Ronald Daise and James Bradley. New York: Little Simon, 1996.

My Name is Hussein by Khristo Ki︠u︡chukov. Honesdale, Pa.: Boyds Mills Press, 2004.

Ranger Mike's Animal ABC's by Natalie Daise. New York, N.Y. :Little Simon, 1996.

Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Empty House by Arthur Conan Doyle and David Eastman, adapter. Mahwah, N.J.: Troll Associates, 1982.

Totem Poles by Jennifer Frantz. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 2001.

Up the Hill and Down: Poems for the Very Young compiled by William Jay Smith. Honesdale, Pa.: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, 2003.

What's That Noise by Lois Kauffman. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1965.

Additional Information

Allan Eitzen Retrospective Art Exhibit (On YouTube)

Author(s) Emily Ralph
Date Published December 2011

Cite This Article

MLA style

Ralph, Emily. "Eitzen, Allan (1928-2008)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2011. Web. 22 Jul 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Eitzen,_Allan_(1928-2008)&oldid=143354.

APA style

Ralph, Emily. (December 2011). Eitzen, Allan (1928-2008). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 July 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Eitzen,_Allan_(1928-2008)&oldid=143354.

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