Former director of physical

Kristin Gustafson

John “Jack” Allison, professor emeritus and director of the University’s physical therapy program from 1978 to 1993, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 68.
Allison received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical therapy from the University. He served as a physical therapist in the Army from 1954 to 1956, and later at the University Hospital. He began his teaching career in 1957 and retired as an associate professor in the physical medicine and rehabilitation department in 1978.
In 1992, Allison received the University’s Horace T. Morse Alumni Association Award for outstanding undergraduate teaching.
Dr. Jim Carey, director of the physical therapy program and former colleague and student of Allison, described Allison as approachable and knowledgeable. “He made it interesting for the students.”
“Anatomy was his favorite subject to teach,” said Eadie Allison, Allison’s wife. “He loved the body, knowing about the body and got a great deal of satisfaction watching students who see it as a great mystery then ‘get it.'”
Allison was also a researcher and inventor who held two patents for devices used for victims of arthritis and whiplash.
Allison is survived by his wife, Eadie, three children and six grandchildren.
“(The University) was a huge part of his life, from the students to the school itself,” said John Allison Jr., Allison’s son. “He wanted to make it a better place.” Allison Jr. said his parents would hold picnics at their house, inviting Allison’s students and their families.
Eadie Allison said, “Jack felt there was more to learning about physical therapy — that you had to learn about life and part of that was seeing families in their homes.”
Former student Teresa Jacobsen said Allison had a special grasp of his subjects that carried over into his students.
“Everything he taught you, he had a mastery of it … that made the students feel they could master the topics he had mastered,” she said.