Robert W. Allsop, 92, long-time resident and philanthropist of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Saturday, September 17, 2022.
Bob is survived by his wife of 70 years Elizabeth, sons Richard (Mary Beth), Stephen (Mary Beth) Jeffrey (Carla), by grandchildren Robert, Andrew, Nicholas (Peter Hendrickson), Danielle (Zach) Willey, Mikayla, and Jackson, and by great grandson, Aiden Timothy Willey.
Born September 29, 1929 to William and Myrtle Allsop. Bob grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin. He married Elizabeth Marie Nichols on June 21, 1952. For several years they lived in Beloit where Bob worked at the Beloit Iron Works. In 1957 they moved to Cedar Rapids where he joined Fruehauf Trailer Co. and several years later the Morris Plan Business Investment Co. which became MorAmerica Capital Corporation. There Allsop helped to establish the beginnings of venture capital, investing and supporting the growth of small and medium sized businesses, becoming the president of the company in the mid 1970’s. In 1981 Allsop along with four partners, established R.W. Allsop & Associates, a venture capital limited partnership. Later they formed R.W. Allsop & Associate II and Allsop Venture Partners. They invested in small and medium sized companies across the United States.
Allsop was active in professional organizations. He served as President of the Midwest Regional Association of Small Business Investment Companies (RASBIC) and later as President of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC). In 1990, Allsop was given the NASBIC “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contributions to the venture capital industry for over 30 years of involvement. In 1992 he served as President of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA)
Allsop served as a Deacon, Elder and Trustee of Westminster Presbyterian Church and as a Trustee of Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation. He served on district and national Small Business Administration Advisory Councils and was a delegate to two White House Conferences on Small Business. Locally, he served as a Director of Kirkwood College Foundation and as a member of its Investment Committee, was Director of Firstar Bank (now US Bank), Trustee of the Esther and Robert Armstrong Charitable Trust and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of East Central Iowa. A 50 year member of the Cedar Rapids Rotary Club, he was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and recipient of the Major Donor Award. He was also a member of Cedar Rapids Country Club, The Estancia Club in Scottsdale Arizona, and the Kinnick Gold Society.
In 2002 Allsop was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame for his “considerable contributions to the free enterprise system”. Bob and his wife Beth made extensive contributions of their time and treasure throughout Cedar Rapids and Iowa and were honored in 2002 as Outstanding Individual Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In June of 2012, and 2019, United Way recognized Bob and Beth with the Community Philanthropist Award. Among the organizations benefiting from their largesse have been the University of Iowa for the Beth and Bob Allsop Point Guard Scholarship, the Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball Stadium, Kirkwood College, the Hawkeye Area Council of Boy Scouts of America with an Outdoor Education Center, Westminster Presbyterian Church addition, and the Indian Creek Nature Center, to which the Allsops gave 24 acres of undeveloped woodlands within the city of Cedar Rapids. They were also major contributors to the Indian Creek Nature Center “Amazing Space” project.
Bob felt like he was a very fortunate person, “I had a wonderful family, enjoyed success in business and was able to give back to the community”.
Visitation will begin at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids on Friday, September 23, at 11:30 AM, with funeral services following at 1:00 PM. On Saturday, September 24, at Floral Lawn Cemetery in S. Beloit, IL, there will be visitation from 11:30 – 1:00, with funeral and graveside service following.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Kirkwood College Foundation, or a charity of your choice.