In memory of Harlene Arnett Allmer-Fiscus, the Briggsdale Classic Committee
unanimously voted to honor her memory by placing her name on the coveted
showmanship buckles for each year’s jackpot show.
Harlene Allmer-Fiscus, 1960-2000
Harlene was born in Rangely, Colorado on May 18th, 1960. She was adopted
by Floyd & Lillian Allmer in November of 1966. Harlene loved all types
of animals, her favorite was buffalo. Her parents knew of her love of
animals and enrolled her in the Goodluck 4H Club in Henderson, Colorado
in 1967. There were no 4H projects that included bison, so Harlene opted
to take junior market beef as her main project. Her other 4H projects
included sewing, roller-skating & modeling; but her true passion was
market beef. She was involved in 4H for 10 years learning from her older
brother Steve and tutoring her younger brother Brian. She held the office
of Goodluck 4H Club Historian and loved to show each year at the Adams
County Fair, the Colorado State Fair, Arizona National Livestock Show
and the National Western Stock Show.
Brian’s fondest memory of Harlene was while they were participating
at the Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix, Arizona in January
1976. Harlene and her brother both made the junior livestock sale and
were busily preparing their animals for the sale one morning. Not really
paying attention to who was milling about, Harlene returned to the tack
box area to discover none other than the “Duke” himself
coming towards her. That’s right, John Wayne! Harlene was overwhelmed
and in shock. The Duke exchanged pleasantries with Harlene and asked
a few questions about her animal. She could barely speak. Brian remembers
how much Harlene smiled for the rest of the week! She even sent him
a graduation announcement when she graduated from Briggsdale High School
in 1978. On the same token when she heard of his death in 1979, she
was equally shocked and devastated. She literally sobbed about the
fact that the country had lost a true hero and legend of the west.
From that day on Harlene collected John Wayne memorabilia and never
missed the chance to tell someone about that one day at the ANLS show
In 1969, Floyd Allmer was killed in a construction accident in Longmont.
Chris Allmer decided in 1972 to return to the family’s farm in Briggsdale
to raise Harlene and Brian. They were enrolled in the Briggsdale School
District. Harlene was active in the school playing basketball, volleyball,
cheerleading and acting in drama. She was a member of the National Honor
Society, a member of the FHA and was chosen as a Who’s Who American
Student. In 1977, when Harlene was a junior, she chose to apply for the
position on Briggsdale FFA Chapter Sweetheart and won. She was very excited
and proud to be the Chapter Sweetheart and to be a member of the FFA.
At that time, that was the only way a girls were allowed to participate.
She loved & cherished her white corduroy FFA Sweetheart jacket.
On May 23, 1978, Harlene graduated from Briggsdale High School. She went
on to attend Morgan County Community College and Aims community College.
She majored in Business and received her Associate in Arts Degree while
Harlene lived in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana & Alaska. When married
to Max Jensen of Montana she gave birth to Rian August Jensen of Kenai,
Alaska on March 23, 1989. Rian was the apple of her eye, she loved him
dearly. It was her dream to return to the family farm in Briggsdale and
return to her agriculture background and share those experiences with
her son Rian. Every summer since her passing, Max has honored her wishes
and has sent Rian back to the farm to spend time with Uncle Brian &
While she lived in Plentywood, Montana and in Kenai, Alaska, Harlene
operated a very successful dry floral business. She was also very active
in those communities serving as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency
On May 11, 1998, she married Ray Fiscus of Parker, Colorado. Ray was
a fireman with the Parker Fire Department for over 20 years.
In 1998, Harlene wanted to move back to Kenai to be closer to her son,
Rian. She was diagnosed with lung cancer the next summer.
Harlene & Rian returned to Briggsdale over Christmas in 1999, visiting
with many friends & family members during the holidays. No one had
any idea that this would be her final visit. In late January 2000, Harlene
was then diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. She passed away on
February 24, 2000.
Through severe pain, chemo and radiation treatments, Harlene remained
strong and resilient. John Wayne once said, “When you come slam
bang up against trouble, it never looks half bad if you face up to it.”
Harlene did just that in all that she faced in her life. She was a tough
competitor in 4H and in life. She never complained and used many of her
fond memories in life to motivate her. She was a loving mother, sister,
daughter and friend to all that knew and loved her. She loved the beauty
and the wilderness of Alaska, and she loved the farm in Briggsdale. It
was her final wish to have her ashes scattered in the Kenai Peninsula
and at the farm southeast of Briggsdale. Her life had come full circle,
she finally returned to her home on the farm. Harlene will be loved and
missed forever. Her family knows that she is in heaven riding horses with
her dad and John Wayne, maybe even showing steers…