Believe It or Not, Wick Allison (1948–2020) Had a Secret Softer Side

Demanding magazine leader shared a secret softer side

Many know how Wick Allison strived to make Dallas better through his publications and The Coalition for a New Dallas.

Not as many know about the difference he sought to make through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

Allison, who died Sept. 1 at age 72, spent years working alongside other society volunteers, including People Newspapers publisher Pat Martin.

“Unlike most people that knew Wick professionally, I was blessed to have had the opportunity to see a softer side of Wick, to witness his grace in action,” Martin said.

The volunteers visited families in need of emergency assistance and worked to provide financial, material, and spiritual support, she said. “Wick demonstrated great compassion and love for the poor.”

Gillea Allison, president of D Magazine Partners, wrote that her luxury-car-loving father would “help pay rent, babysit toddlers and newborns when a single mom was called in for the night shift, and shuttle the sick back and forth to Parkland Hospital when another health crisis inevitably hit. He had a proximity to poverty that I don’t think many people knew about, albeit from a comfortable, heated leather seat.”

“Not only did Wick have vision, but he acted on his vision. Dallas benefited greatly from his obsession to make it better, and he did. Thank you, Wick.”

Lynn McBee

Search the FrontBurner blog at to check out the obituary by D Magazine editor Tim Rogers and the comments that followed for stories of how demanding though still often inspiring Wick Allison could be.

“What he demanded was always too much, and that demand brought out the best in those who could keep up,” Rogers said.

Jon Dahlander, a former Dallas ISD spokesperson now with Highland Park ISD, recalls the kindness shown over two decades.

“While I’m sure he was a demanding person around the D offices, he was always enormously kind, generous, and supportive of me, both in my time at Dallas ISD and with my side career as a piano composer,” Dahlander said.

Dahlander also admired Wick Allison’s passion for Dallas and ability to understand “it much better than most.”

“It showed in all he did,” Dahlander said. “In a way, his personality was a lot like some of the best attributes of our city: entrepreneurial, mercurial, well-educated, tough, very smart, and even more opinionated.”

Last year, Lynn McBee, a philanthropist former mayoral candidate, joined Wick Allison as a co-chair of the Coalition for a New Dallas, the Super PAC he founded in 2015 to promote bold thinking about urbanism and the development of the city.

“Wick was someone who knew what he stood for and was deeply committed to Dallas,” she said. “We had very different working styles (he was fiery!), but I respected his relentless pursuit to push forward with plans that would make our city better.

“Not only did Wick have vision, but he acted on his vision,” McBee said. “Dallas benefited greatly from his obsession to make it better, and he did. Thank you, Wick.”

For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact [email protected] for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *