George Allen, 92, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., died Jan. 10, 2013, after a brief illness. Visitation will be Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Elkins Funeral Home of Florence. Services will be Sunday at 2 p.m. at Elkins Chapel officiated by Dr. Sammy Gilbreath. Burial will be at Greenview Memorial Gardens.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gene Allen, of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; his son, Michael Allen, of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; his brothers, David Allen, of Marietta, Ga., and Gerald Allen, of Los Angeles, Calif.; and one granddaughter; and two grandsons. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Building Fund of Forest Lake Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
George T. Allen was born Aug. 4, 1920, in Centralia, Ill., but spent most of his childhood in Choctaw County, Ala., and Meridian, Miss. George joined the Marine Corps in 1938 and was in London, England, when America entered WWII. He and ten other Marines trained with the Royal Commandos, resulting in the formation of the Marine Raiders. George trained other Raiders at Camp Pendleton from 1942-44. In 1945, George himself went into combat on Iwo Jima as Platoon Sergeant in Company D, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division. On the fifth day of the battle, George saw the first U.S. flag raised on top of Mt. Suribachi. He led his platoon for two weeks after his commander was wounded, but was himself shot and paralyzed on his left side on March 13, 1945. For his bravery in action, Pl. Sgt. Allen was awarded the Bronze Star
with Combat "V" and the Purple Heart
. He and his unit also received the Presidential Unit Citation.
After his rehabilitation, promotion, and honorable discharge, Gunnery Sgt. Allen came back to Miss. Although George was permanently paralyzed, his younger brother asked him to play golf. George managed to hit the ball straight with one arm on the first try. Through years of determination and practice, George became a golf professional. He came to Florence, Ala., in the early fifties to help his brother, the late Winfield Allen, with the Skypark Golf Course. In 1967, George designed and built the first nine holes of Twin Pines Country Club near Littleville, Ala., and managed it until 1975. He then returned to Skypark until his retirement in 1983. During his 32 year golf career, he scored a remarkable 13 holes-in-one. He also taught numerous people how to play golf, including many with physical limitations who came from throughout the nation for George to teach them.
Elkins Funeral Home invites friends to post remembrances on their website at elkinsfuneralhome.com