William (Bill) J. Allen, 94, died on May 23, 2020, at Baptist Health. He was the loving husband of Mary Alice (Pennington) Allen. He is survived by his two beloved daughters, Elizabeth Jane (Joe) Hudson of Lexington, KY, and Annette Elaine Allen of Brandenburg, KY. Also, surviving him are his cherished grandchildren, Stephanie (John) Crosier and Christian Sweet. Three surviving adored great-grandchildren are Will Crosier, Sumner Crosier, and Joseph Crosier, all of Brandenburg, KY. He is also survived by a special friend, Phyllis Davis.
Bill was born in Lebanon Junction, KY, to the Reverend M.D. Allen and Viola Jane, who preceded in him death. He was a “Preacher’s Kid” who lived in many Kentucky communities where his father served as a Methodist minister. These communities included Beaver Dam, Brandenburg, Cadiz, Providence, Hawesville, Owensboro, and Mount Washington. Bill was attending high school in Mount Washington when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War ll. While in the military, Bill was trained as a gunner in the tank corps and served stateside. More recently, he was honored to be able to travel to Washington, D.C. on the Angel Flight to visit the World War ll Memorial. At the end of the war, Bill attended Union College in Barbourville, KY. While there, he met Mary Alice. The two were married 59 years until her death. During this time, Mary Alice and Bill enjoyed a full life together. She was his constant companion who also enjoyed many of his interests.
Bill’s first teaching position was in a one-room schoolhouse in Grayson County, KY. Following that year, he was an educator for many years serving as principals in Meade County, KY and Posey County, IN. He served as principal at Picadome Elementary and opened Tates Creek Elementary in Fayette County
Where he was honored by having the gymnasium named after him. He was a graduate of Union College, the University of Louisville, and completed his Rank 1 at the University of Kentucky. He was active in professional organizations and published articles in educational journals. At the national level, he was president of the National Elementary School Principals’ Association. He took great pride in his schools and faculty.
Bill was an avid sportsman. He loved to boat and to spend time on the water with his family and friends. He was an exceptional water skier who taught many others to share his love of skiing. As he grew older, Bill enjoyed taking boat trips on the Ohio River and boating on Lake Cumberland. One of his favorite trips was with Mary Alice to sail in the Virgin Islands. He was a former member of the Lexington Yacht Club, serving as a past Commodore. Fishing was one of his pastimes, too. His favorite fishing activity was to clean out his tackle box or to make a good trade for a “special” lure. Quail hunting with his pointer hunting dogs brought him years of pleasure as well. He loved to share stories about his dogs and his hunts with fellow hunters.
Bill knew much about American history, especially Kentucky history. Traveling on day trips with him was always an education. He could point out where a duel took place or locate an unusual land formation. Studying genealogy and tracking down missing ancestors was of great interest to him. Also, he had a wide range of activities that kept him busy after he retired from education: beekeeping, making the Saturday garage sale stops, reading, studying current events, fixing “things,” and keeping up with politics. Bill loved to spend the winter near the beaches in Florida. He could also play a spirited version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” on his harmonica.
He was preceded in death by his five older siblings: Jessie (Lawrence) Reed, Mabel (Bill) Davies, Brack (Rachel) Allen, M.D. Allen, Jr., and Pauline (Ralph) Fontaine. He is survived by many loved nieces and nephews and one sister-in-law, Helen (Ken) Pennington. The family would like to thank the staff of Highgrove at Tates Creek for the attentive and compassionate care he received while living there. Private family graveside services will be held in Brandenburg at the Cap Anderson Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society at 1504 College Way, Lexington, KY 40502; to the Meade County Public Library at 996 Old Ekron Road, Brandenburg, KY 40108, or to a charity of your choosing.