James Curtis Allen, age 92, passed away on April 10, 2015, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. His loving wife of 68 years, Juanita, preceded him in death November 5, 2012.
He was born June 7, 1922, in Winston, MO, the son of Minor and Carrie Belle Allen. His father died when he was six years old, and Jim was thrust into manhood early in life by this unfortunate circumstance. He graduated from Chillicothe Business College and grew to become a very successful business man and civic leader in Lamar, Missouri, for nearly 60 years. In July, 2009, he and his wife moved to Springfield, Missouri and resided in independent, assisted, and skilled care facilities.
Jim was enlisted in the Navy during World War II and was a radioman on the U.S.S. Belleau Wood aircraft carrier. During his tenure in the war, he was exposed to great harm and tragic memories. His service to his country was a proud credit to his stature as a United States citizen. Jim met his “wife to be” while on leave in Kansas City, and was introduced to Juanita by his sister, Mary Francis (Allen) Key. They roller skated together and later were married at the Trinity United Methodist Church on Linwood Boulevard. The church is still standing today.
After the war, Jim was employed by RPM, then Lawn Boy, in Lamar, Missouri, where he got his start in business and where he met many of his lifelong friends and associates.He and his friend and partner Kenny Howard built the Blue Top Inn in Lamar, Missouri, and later sold the motel to finance the purchase of F. M. Thorpe Manufacturing. With Jim’s financial leadership and the partnership’s wisdom, the new Thorco grew to become a vibrant asset to the City of Lamar, providing hundreds of jobs and gaining widespread respect in the business world.
Jim was a strong civic leader in Lamar and received countless awards, certificates, positions, and honors including membership in the Freemasonry, Boy Scout Silver Beaver Award, Man of the Year, Lamar Rotarian President, and Paul Harris Fellow just to name a few.He was especially proud to serve on the Lamar Park Board. Jim was a dedicated member and supporter of the Lamar United Methodist Church. As was clear in all of his words and deeds, Jim loved Lamar. He called Missouri “God’s Country” and considered Lamar his only home.
He is survived by five children: Daryl Allen, Oak Leaf, TX; Karen Allen, Lamar, MO; Dr. Marti Allen, Jonesboro, AR; Jimmie and his wife Nancy Allen, Overland Park, KS; and, Randy and his wife Nancy Allen, Springfield, MO. There are several grandchildren: Austin Allen, Los Angeles, CA; Gabrianne and her husband Nick Rickard, Olathe, KS; Benjamin Allen, Springfield, MO;and, Martha Allen, Springfield, MO. Nieces and nephews are Leslie and his wife Pat Key of Sherman, TX; and two great-granddaughters, Alba Allen, Lenexa, KS, and Imogen Rickard, Olathe, KS.
He was also preceded in death by his beloved sister, Mary Francis Key.
Visitation will be held at Daniel Funeral Home on Tuesday evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at the Lamar United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Lake Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials may be given to the Lamar United Methodist Church.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Jim Allen, please visit our flower store