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Cary Allen Sr.


1927 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Cary Walter Allen, Sr.

Asheville - Cary Walter Allen, Sr., of Asheville, died peacefully at CarePartners Solace Center on Friday, May 2nd, 2014.

Born on June 27th, 1927 in Sylva, NC, he was the son of the late Cary Walter Allen and Dorcas Fisher Allen Williams.

Walter graduated from Lee H. Edwards High School in Asheville in 1944. He was sworn in to the US Navy at 17 years of age and soon began Airman School. After his honorable discharge at the war's end, he attended Biltmore College in Asheville and briefly worked for the Colgate Company. He continued his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a BS in Business and History in 1951 and his JD in 1957. Walter was a member of the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Most importantly, he began his lifelong journey as an avid Tarheel fan. He returned to Asheville that same year, was admitted to the NC Bar Association and began his solo law practice. A year later in 1958, Walter joined Kenneth Lee at his firm, which became Lee & Allen. He found that he liked working in the court system, and served as a part-time Judge in Juvenile & Domestic Court. In 1969, he left his law practice to become a full-time Judge in the same court. In 1970, shortly after North Carolina reorganized its court system, Walter was appointed by NC Supreme Court Chief Justice William Bobbitt to be the first Chief Judge of Buncombe County's District Court. NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Susie Sharpe appointed him to the Judicial Standards Commission in 1975. In 1978, Walter was elected to the Superior Court seat vacated by Harry Martin. He served alongside Robert D. Lewis as Resident Superior Court Judge until his retirement in 1994. After retirement, he continued to provide his legal expertise for many years as a certified mediator for the courts.

In addition to his law career, Walter was a member of the Asheville Civitan Club and past President of the Young Democrats Club. He was also a member of the Rhododendron Royal Brigade of Guards and the Royal Order of Knights of the Laurel. He served on a number of boards including the Alternative Sentencing Panel of Buncombe County and Pisgah Legal Services. Walter loved the outdoors and working with his hands, whether it was building rock walls or gardening. He spent over 40 years hiking and inspecting his Fairview property that he made "home" for his family. Walter had an inquisitive mind and was constantly reading and researching a wide array of subjects from gardening and wood working to legal briefs, history, the environment, mankind and our world and cosmos. He frequently shared stories colored by his vivid recall.

Walter was preceded in death by his wife of 37 years, Diana "Randi" Chlopick Allen and two sisters, Patricia Allen Brewer Grant and Joyce Anne Williams. He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances McGowan Allen; three children, Jana Allen Childress of Asheville, Kristin Carol Allen of St. Petersburg, FL, Cary Walter Allen, Jr. and his wife, Jenni Allen, of Fairview; two stepchildren, Charles Ross Sappenfield and his wife, Laura Brugger, of San Francisco, Sarah Kathleen "Sally" Sappenfield of Stafford, VA; six grandchildren, Diana Childress, Benjamin and Jamie Allen and Anne, Alice and Helena Sappenfield. Also surviving are Walter's sister, Laura Taylor and husband, John; his brother, Samuel Williams; and more than 20 nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, May 10th at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CarePartners Hospice, Pisgah Legal Services or a .

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the physicians at Asheville Pulmonary Associates for their expert guidance and compassionate care. They would also like to thank the staff at CarePartners Hospice Solace Center for their loving support and outstanding attention to detail.

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Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on May 7, 2014
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