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Obituary: Allen Morehead

By Ashleigh Petersen

February 26, 2023

Allen MoreheadAllen Morehead, 86, died Feb. 21, 2023. Morehead — who served two terms as the American Rental Association (ARA) president in 2004 and 2005 — became involved in the rental industry in 1970 when he began working for Charlie McCourt — a 2014 Rental Hall of Fame inductee — at Ace Rents in Lancaster, Pa. 

Morehead and McCourt partnered and ultimately opened six rental stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Morehead also was one of the founders of Rental Service Supply, which later was renamed RSS Distributors. 

Throughout his career, Morehead had a long history of volunteering which began soon after he joined the industry at the grassroots level with the Keystone Rental Association and ARA of Pennsylvania. He became involved at the national level in 1981, when he began the first of three terms that totaled seven years of service on the ARA board of directors through 1998. He also was one of the pioneers of ARA Insurance through his involvement with the development of American Rental Dealers Insurance Co. (ARDI). 

Allen MoreheadMorehead began another tenure on the ARA board in 2002, when he was elected vice president. He served as senior vice president in 2003, ARA president in both 2004 and 2005, and then as chair of the board in 2006. He also was on the ARA Foundation board of trustees. 

For his service to the industry, Morehead received the ARA Distinguished Service Award in 1990 and was named Region Two Person of the Year twice — in 1979 and 2008. In 2015, he was inducted into the Rental Hall of Fame — the most prestigious honor offered by the ARA to those who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to the industry. 

Allen MoreheadIn a March 2015 Rental Management article, Morehead reflected on his time in the industry. 

“I think we have a unique place in the world. We help people who have problems and we help them solve them better than most people,” he said, adding a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” 

In the 2000s, Morehead’s son, David, took over the operational reins at Ace Rents and Ace the Party Place, guiding the company for several years until its closure in late 2020. 

At the time of the company’s closing, Morehead said “I really enjoyed working with the people that rented from us and all the people in the rental business — I miss those acquaintances.” 

Morehead is survived by his wife, Ruth and three sons, David, Christopher and Michael.