On Friday, Nov. 4, 1921, Samuel Alphonse Allen was the fourth child born to the late Sam and Aljonia Allen in Tallahassee.
After graduating from Lincoln High School there, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve from 1943 to 1946. He graduated from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee in 1949 with a B.S. in Chemistry. In 1959, he graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, obtaining a Master in Science Education.
Allen met the love of his life, Caroline Jacquelene Baker, in June 1943, at the Webster Chapel United Methodist Church in Victory, Texas, where he was stationed at Aloe Field. They were married June 5, 1946 at East St. Paul United Methodist Church in San Antonio. In August 1949, the family moved to Baker.
They joined Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church in the early 1950s under the late Rev. R.V. Jefferson's leadership. Allen was a faithful and active member. He served as trustee board chairman, Sunday School superintendent, teacher and transportation chairperson; he was an active member in the Progressive District of West Florida Association, and served as an usher for over 50 years.
Allen began teaching in 1949 at Drew High School in Baker. In 1954 he was transferred to Carver-Hill High School, in Crestview, where he taught mathematics and chemistry. In 1968 he began teaching mathematics at Richbourg Junior High School, in Crestview. He retired in 1983.
Allen - sworn into the Crestview City Council Nov. 4, 1968 - is Northwest Florida's first African-American elected city official. During his 11-year tenure he served as a city council chairman. He also was the first African-American man appointed to Okaloosa County's Selective Service Board.
Other community and civic affiliations include Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (Man of the Year 1969, 1971 and 1990); NAACP; Elks, IBPOE (District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler); FAMU Alumni Association; president, Carver Hill Memorial & Historical Society; Okaloosa Retired Educators Association; and Okaloosa County Teachers Federal Credit Union, board of directors for 39 years.
Allen and his wife were instrumental in developing the Carver-Hill Museum in Okaloosa County. The Davidson Middle School gym is also named in his honor.
Allen died Nov. 5, 2014. Preceding him in death are his parents; his loving wife of 59 years, Caroline; and his siblings, Pearlie, Bertha, Bessie, Willie, Cora and Rosa Lee.
He leaves to cherish his memories one son, Samuel Allen Jr. (Cassandra) and one daughter, Aljonia (Herman) Porter; grandchildren Shawneese, Yolanda, Edward Jr. (Nartrish), Sherman and Stephen Jr. (Tabatha); grandchildren Lashaundra, Alesia, Tiana, Makayla, Edward III, Malcolm, Denzil, Brandi, Montoya, Christopher, Kaily, Stephen III, Edward Allen, Landen and Yellow leaf; great-great-grandson Terrance Jr.; his sister, Lula Mae Brown; special grandchildren, Terri and Vaneesa; special great-grandchildren: Sandra, Darion, Vyandori, Jawanza, and Samia; special great-great-grandson, Chaysen; and hosts of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Nov. 14 at McKinnie Funeral Home, Crestview. The funeral is 11 a.m. Nov. 15 at Lebanon Baptist Church, Baker, with burial at Spring Hill Cemetery.
A repast will be at Carver-Hill Community Center. In lieu of flowers, you may send donations to Carver-Hill Memorial and Historical Society, 649 McClelland St., Crestview FL 32536. The News Bulletin publishes North Okaloosa County residents and former residents' obituaries for $45 including a photo. Family members should write the 500-word announcements and funeral homes should submit them to the newspaper for confirmation. We may edit submissions for style. Call 850-682-6524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.