In Memoriam: Bill Allen


Bill Allen. Photo provided by William Allen

Bill R. Allen passed away Feb. 23, 2019, a resident of Canyon Lake, CA, where he had lived for the last 24 years.

He was born 96 years ago, on Dec. 21, in Watts, Oklahoma.

He is survived by his son, William Allen, and daughter, Cheryl Schima. He was predeceased by his youngest child, Barbara Rainey, who was the first woman naval aviator.

Other survivors include granddaughters, Kirsten Kelly, Natalie Muraca, Amy Harding, Becky Brown, Cynthia Spezia and Katie Rainey, and one grandson, Lossom Allen. Also, two foster grandchildren, Mack and Rosie.

He had great-grandsons, Nate, Connor, Aidan, and Beckett Kelly, Vince and Roman Muraca, Zach and Chad Harding, and Gerard and Liam Allen, as well as four great-granddaughters, Barbara, Maureen and Joan Spezia, and Quinn Rainey D’Andrea.

He was born and raised in the hill country of northeast Oklahoma, graduating from high school in Watts, Oklahoma, in 1940. There, at a basketball tournament, in nearby Gentry, Arkansas, he met Marguerite Allen, who attended school there. They both played on their respective high school teams. Although their small town schools were rivals, they found some common ground and were married Dec. 22, 1940, in Gentry, Arkansas. They remained together for 74 years, until Marguerite’s death on Jan. 15, 2015.

After high school graduation, they enrolled in Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University). However, their higher education plans were interrupted by World War II. Bill enlisted in the navy in 1942, where he served for most of the next 31 years. His career in the navy spanned three wars, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, including almost two years on Guadalcanal in WWII, and entailed moves every two or three years for stations in Virginia, South Carolina, California, Hawaii, and London.

After he retired from the navy in 1972, he and Marguerite took up residence in a former home in Long Beach, California, but were soon called back to Arkansas to care for his aging mother. They remained in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, until 1992, when they returned to California to be closer to their grandchildren. They relocated in Canyon Lake, where he has remained.

He loved golf and the friends he made playing it, in Siloam Springs, Canyon Lake, and other courses in his widespread duty stations. Until injuries and illness limited Marguerite’s mobility, he played several times a week but did not want to leave his wife alone for the length of time needed for a round of golf. He was able to achieve two of a golfer’s great goals, a hole-in-one at this club in Siloam Springs and shooting his age at Canyon Lake when he was 83.

He lived a long life of love, duty and unswerving loyalty to his family and friends. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, including those he served with in the navy, and many close friends and neighbors.

Services will be held on Saturday, Mar. 9, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Mountain View Community Church, 33122 Grape Street, Wildomar, CA 92595, where he has been a member for 24 years. A viewing will precede services from 10:30 to 10:50 a.m.