Willie B. Allen
Willie Bruce Allen’s family surrounded him, sang to him, and wept as he gently eased away from us and met his Savior face to face.
It was Saturday night, Nov. 7. He was 86 years old.
He was known by many loving variations of dearest “Daddy” to his children, “Grandpa” and “Granddad” by his grandchildren, “Brother” to his beloved siblings, “Brother Willie” to his loving church family, and “Willie Bruce” and “Bruce” by extended family and friends.
But the most precious to him was his adored wife, Geneva, who called him “Pumpkin” and “Love” throughout their 64-year marriage.
Born to John Avery and Ruth Williams Allen on March 7, 1934, he grew up in Lauderdale County, learning to be a farmer and how to care for his family as he worked alongside his dad, who sharecropped in the county. Daddy told us how tough those days were, what a struggle it was many times to have enough food for a large family. He always made sure not to just stop the story with the struggle, but to complete the story by emphasizing how God blessed them throughout those years and how there was an abundance of family love and laughter.
When he and Geneva married and started their family, they built that foundation in their children: Give your life to God first, and everything else will be fine. Honor God in times of trial and while in valleys of sorrow, and we’ll make it through. Honor God in times that are good and plentiful and help others. Our lives are blessed by our parents and we, in turn, introduced our children to God.
So as we go through our times of tears – the sorrow is painful and sharp – we also have the assurance that Daddy is in the presence of God. That’s what he prayed for – that when his earthly time was over, he would stand before God and hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We rejoice with him in that eternal reward.
He was retired from Reynolds Metals Company and was a member of Highland Baptist Church in Florence. He was a self-taught carpenter, plumber and electrician, and amazed his children as we watched him walk roof rafters with surefooted ease. And though those hard times he experienced as a child cut short his education, in his 50s he and Geneva earned their GED diploma. He built the house he and Geneva currently live in, as well as the homes of two of his children, and repaired and renovated houses for other family and at church.
Please remember us in prayer as we adjust: his wife, Geneva; his children, Veronica Allen, Bruce Allen (LaVonda), Vida Belue (Charles), Sherhonda Allen, Sherry Allen, and Benita Logsdon (Frank); his grandchildren – his joy watching them grow into Christian men and women was boundless: JoVita Allen, Michael Logsdon, Allen Belue, Rebecca Logsdon, and Kaitlyn Belue; his siblings: Annie King, Joe Allen (Vera), Mary Jean Cole (Calvin), Barbara McDaniel (Harold), and Herchial Allen; numerous in-laws, including his beloved brother’s widow, Phyllis; nieces and nephews; cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings, Edna Ruth Jackson and Avery Earl Allen.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at Greenview Funeral Home. A graveside service will be at 12 noon Thursday in Bailey’s Chapel Cemetery in Killen. Please observe the safety of social distancing and please wear a mask.
Honorary pallbearers are Highland Baptist deacons and members of his TV ministry Sunday school class.
Daddy quietly and consistently supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and was a long-time volunteer at the Help Center in Florence. In lieu of flowers, would you please continue to support these charities?
We thank you for all of your love, prayers and support.
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