AIKEN, S.C. - James Russell Allen, beloved husband, father, brother, and son, passed away at Roper Hospital, Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 29, 2014. He was 88.
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He was born on Feb. 7, 1925 in Detroit, Mich., to Russell M. and Helen L. Allen. Jim was blessed with a rich childhood that included years in the Boy Scouts, where he earned the Eagle rank and Order of the Arrow. Later, he graduated from the Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II with the 104th Infantry Division in Europe. He earned a battlefield promotion to lieutenant and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. His reverence for and devotion to his wartime friendships and experiences remained with him for the rest of his life. He was especially proud to be able to participate in an Honor Flight experience with his two sons in 2012.
Jim married Marjorie Jean Bowers in 1947 in New Cumberland, Pa. After earning his degree from Penn State University, they raised four children, living in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Michigan as he pursued his passion for selling stainless steel. He worked for Wallingford Steel of Wallingford, and Allegheny Ludlum Steel of Pittsburgh, Pa. He was a gifted salesman who thrived on the relationships he made throughout his lengthy and successful career. In 2000, several years after retiring, he and Marjorie moved to Aiken, S.C., where she died in 2008.
While living in Connecticut, he and Marge were members of the Farms Country Club, where they formed many strong friendships. Jim served as the club's president from 1989–990. In Aiken, Jim and Marge embraced their life at Cedar Creek where he continued his love affair with the game of golf.
Throughout his life, he was an avid reader, enthusiastic cribbage player, and relished any reason, athletic or otherwise, for a friendly wager. He remained a devoted Nittany Lion and Big Ten fan until the day he died.
In later years, Jim actively pursued his Christian faith and became a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Aiken, S.C. He was comforted by his associations there and treasured his friendships with neighbors, George and Marjorie Milne; and special companion, Mary Alice Lockhart.
He is survived by one brother, Robert (Betty Lynn) of San Antonio, Texas; and four children, Nancy Harris (John) of Loma, Colo., Catherine Share of Portland, Maine, Richard Allen (Marie) of Charleston, S.C., and Donald Allen (Cheryl) of Charleston, S.C. In addition, he is survived by 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 224 Barnwell Ave., NW, Aiken, S.C., 29801. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Molly's Militia of N. Augusta, S.C. at www.mollysmilitia.org; or The Golden Harvest Food Bank of Augusta, Ga. at www.goldenharvest.org.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 2501 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, S.C. 29414. (843) 722-8371. Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.McAlister-Smith.com.
McAlister-Smith Funeral-Cremation West Ashley Chapel
2501 Bees Ferry Rd Charleston, SC 29414
Published in The Record-Journal on Mar. 19, 2014