Life Story for Ray Allen
Frederick Ray Allen, 83, passed away Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Ray Allen was born in Madisonville, Tennessee to Arthur Allen and Tallie Davis Allen. He has a twin sister, Alice Willis (Walter) and an older brother Art (deceased).
On November 21, 1959, he married Reba Janelle Willis. He has four sons Michael (Cyndi), Scott (Ana), Keith (Molly) and Mark (Samira). He has 10 grandchildren: Kristen Cudney (Jonathan), Ashley Allen (Grant), Benjamin Daugherty, Tasha Daugherty, Laura Marple (Cameron), Daniel Allen, Julia Allen, Jonathan Allen, Hannah Allen, and Alyssa Allen. His great grandchildren include Natalie Childress, Michaela Rae Cudney, and more on the way.
Ray led an active life. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, putt-putt, gardening, football, and playing sports with his boys. He was a Little League Baseball coach and supporter of Special Olympics. Also known as poppaw, he loved spending time with his grandkids. Ray enjoyed good southern cooking, seafood, and Chinese food. His love of food contributed to an economic impact to several restaurants in Sumter, SC that he supported daily. As a proud supporter of the University of Tennessee, he also became known as “Mr. T” around Sumter.
After 37 years in Sumter, SC, he spent the past five years in North Carolina and Ohio to be close to his children and their families. He always cherished spending time in Tennessee with Alice & Walter Willis, their children (Kim, Susan and Scott), and then their respective children as they grew up.
After the death of his father, he dropped out of high school to support his family, and served in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean War. Most of his time was at sea and in Korea. Ray's medals in the Navy include National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star, United Nations Medal and Korean Presidential Unit Citation. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy as Seaman (E3).
After returning to high school and graduating to honor a promise he made to his father, Ray then served in the United States Air Force from 1956 to 1977 and enjoyed seeing much of the world. In addition to his stateside assignments, he served overseas in Germany, France, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkey. He received four Air Force Commendation Medals, one Joint Service Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and an honorable discharge from the Air Force as SMSgt (E8).
Post Military Career
He was initially a counselor for the Non-Commissioned Officers Association. Ray then embarked on a second career with Prudential Insurance where he earned Series 66 and 7 credentials to become a securities representative. He also had an entrepreneurial spirit as an owner/operator of two restaurants.
In lieu of flowers, as we remember Ray, please consider contributing to the Disabled American Veterans, www.dav.org.