Beloved father, Bennie Gene Allen, age 96, Lansing, Michigan passed away on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.
Bennie was born December 1, 1926 in South Boardman, MI, the son of Benjamin and Nellie (Russell) Allen. He attended Grayling High School where he was president of his graduating class. Instead of proposing marriage to Betty Smith, class secretary, he chose to graduate early and serve his country.
Bennie served in the U. S. Navy during World War II on the USS Thatcher, a part of the Little Beaver Squadron. The ship was heavily damaged by kamikaze pilots. He was the last survivor of the USS Thatcher and was awarded medals including the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign, World War II Victory, American Campaign, Philippine Liberation, Honorable Discharge, and Honorable Service.
After the war Bennie returned to Grayling and married his high school sweetheart, Betty Smith, on May 4, 1946. They built a home in Lansing and raised a loving family. After Bennie retired from Motor Wheel Corporation, they spent winters in Naples, Florida and summers on their AuSable River Grayling property.
Bennie was a founding member of Christ United Church in Dewitt, Wacousta Dewitt Masonic Lodge #359 member, and Councilman for Troop 285 Valley Farms Boy Scouts. He loved hunting, fishing and square-dancing and always looked forward to attending Allen Family Reunions.
Visitation is Tuesday, February 14th from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, 205 E Washington, DeWitt, MI 48820. A funeral service is Wednesday, February 15th, 1:00 PM at Christ United Church, 1000 W. Webb Road, Dewitt, MI 48820. Burial will follow at Gunnisonville Cemetery, 2000 E. Clark Rd., Lansing, with military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Dewitt VFW Post #671 or Christ United Church, Dewitt.
Bennie is survived by his children, Sherry (Greg) Burke and Rick (Laura) Allen; great-grandchildren, Graham Casler and Ava Wilson; long- time friend, Scott Wesley and many nieces, nephews and friends. He is preceded in death by his wife, siblings and grandson Matt Casler.