JACKSON, Miss. — James Doyle “Jim” Allen of Hazlehurst, Miss., passed away on July 26, 2013 at the Veterans Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., after a lengthy illness following a head injury which occurred while serving with the International Mission Board, SBC, in the Middle East. Jim was born in Fife Lake, Mich., on Aug, 1, 1929, and lived most of his stateside years in Traverse City and Kalkaska.
Jim attended school in Traverse City, was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran serving at Aleutian Islands, Alaska, He loved golfing, fishing, and enjoyed various other hobbies. He was certified as an ESL/EFL teacher and taught many students both in the U.S. and internationally.
Although Jim was involved in several other business interests, he was in the contracting business in northwestern Mich. area continually for many years. A committed Gideon, Jim was a Life Member of Gideons International, had served faithfully in the former Cherryland Baptist Church in Traverse City, and was instrumental in the establishment of the present Kalkaska Baptist Church. Jim had a remarkable visionary capacity concerning spiritual and other needs and various personal ministries, most known only to those churches/persons to whom he quietly ministered.
Jim was a member of the Michigan-Ohio Audition Choir in the Detroit area for several years and enjoyed the annual concert series presentations across Michigan and Ohio. A highlight was being chosen for the World Vision Christmas video for troops in Desert Storm, produced by Spendor Productions, Orlando, Fla. He traveled with the “Spirit of America” concert choir along with other Christian music artists throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union. They presented a concert and toured the grounds in the Palace of Congress behind the Kremlin walls, where Dr. Billy Kim (South Korean evangelist) preached a rousing evangelical message.
Jim was blessed with a large immediate family including four sisters, Eleanor, Lani (Don Lemeron), Barbara (deceased), Jeanne (Garry Lewis) and brother Michael (deceased); three sons, James D. Allen, Jr. (deceased) and granddaughter Cherilyn (deceased); Shawn Clark Allen, Twin Lake, Mich, and his children Garth, Jodie, Jaret, Kerry, Dustin; Kelly Joe (Trudy) Allen, Traverse City and children Lorraine (deceased) and Kyle. Others who were included in his life as family are Carol (Bob) Adams, Traverse City; Jim (Karen, Lee and Sarah) and Mark Striebich, Fife Lake; Mike TenBrock, Northport; Greg (Bethany) Ferrell (Mason, Emily), Hazlehurst, Miss.; and Dolores F. Kuriger (Austin), Wesson, Miss.
Jim’s life was filled with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some whom he had not been able to know personally, as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom Jim was always proud to call “my family”.
Along with sons, Shawn and Kelly and sisters, Eleanor, Lani, and Jeanne, and his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces/nephews, aunts/uncles and other family connections, Jim is survived by his wife, Gwen Simmons Allen, formerly Yazoo City and Hazlehurst, Miss.
The home-going celebration service for James D. Allen will be at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, August 4, at Kalkaska Baptist Church. Burial will be at Blair Township’s Maple Grove Cemetery at a later date.
Special thanks to John and Anne H. Lewis, Jackson, Miss. and to Tom and Jane Hearon (both now deceased) for making sure we were always provided for in every way.
Thanks to the following churches and their pastors and members who for years provided housing, food, transport, and other forms of watchcare and ministry whenever the Allens were stateside, during years of service with IMB, and continuing through the years following Jim’s medical evacuation from the Middle East: Alta Woods Baptist Church, Colonial Heights Baptist Church, Pinelake Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, all of Jackson, Miss; and to the Macedonian Call Foundation of Mississippi for always providing the Allens with automobiles.
In lieu of flowers, family requests contributions to Kalkaska Baptist Church, P O. Box 872, Kalkaska, MI 49646 (231) 258-2493 (In Memory of James D. Allen); International Mission Board, P.O. Box 767, Richmond, VA, (In Memory of James D. Allen); or Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800; (In Memory of Life Member: James D. Allen U2104.2, Antrim-Kalkaska Camp, MI.)