Gary Don Allen, 74, of Brentwood,Tenn., passed away Feb. 28, 2012, in Tennessee State Veterans Home, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
He was born Aug. 12, 1937, in Columbus, son of the late Don and Helen (Rotroff) Allen. His sister Karen Fastnaught, of Toledo, survives. Also surviving, his spouse Linda Mashburn Allen, of Brentwood.
Garywas a member of Franklin First United Methodist Church, Franklin, Tenn., and past member of First Christian Church ofSandusky. He graduated from Findlay High School and attended John Carroll University in Clevelandand Findlay College in Findlay, Ohio. While living inOhio, he belonged to many community clubs, including the Sandusky Yacht Club, Toastmasters, Power Squadron, and American Legion.
Garyworked for Chef’s Pantry and then for Stein, Inc. for many years as the director of Human Resources. He owned the photography studio “Images Unlimited” photographing weddings and portraits.
Garywas proud to serve his country in the Army Reserves and then in the Navy. He was presented with a medal and citation from the U.S. Navy for meritorious achievement as an air crewman of a P-3 patrol aircraft during a special reconnaissance mission off the coast of South Korea for directly detecting and subsequent destruction of an enemy infiltrator surface craft. His efforts were instrumental in bringing his damaged aircraft safely to a landing at a friendly base. His skillful airmanship, courage and devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He was authorized to wear the combat “v”. During his career he was presented with several other medals and citations.
Garyserved in various U.S. Navy Patrol Squadrons including: VP-30, VP-7, and VP-4. He was involved during the Cuban Crises in 1963 and 1964 as an air crewman aboard a VP-7 P2V Neptune aircraft assigned to aerial surveillance of Russian ships in route to the island of Cuba carrying missiles. One of the photos he took from aboard a VP-7 aircraft was the one shown during President Kennedy’s news conference on national TV during his announcement of the Cuban Blockade.
Garywas an amateur radio operator (HAM) with the call sign of KB8APU. He enjoyed his experiences operating from various locations. He worked with operators near home base locations to provide members of his squadron with the ability to contact their families via radio from the squadron’s deployed locations. His operating included operations while aboard naval aircraft. He was not able to utilize his amateur radio hobby during the last few years as he would have liked to.
The children with whom Gary shared his life and loved all survive him. They are Deb (Bob)Redmond, of Port Clinton, Don Allen, of Sandusky, and Dawn (Allan) Peterson, of Fremont, whose mother Sarah Crawfis Hartley, survives. Kim Fredrick, of Castalia, and Chuck (Lisa Rutger) from Vermilion, whose mother Viola Sommers Allen, preceded him in death and whose father Chuck Rutger survives. Christy Kaser-Geiger, of Franklin, whose mother Linda Mashburn Allen and father the Rev. Larry J. Kaser survive.
Garyloved his grandchildren, all of whom survive. They are Greg Allen, of Toledo, Bryce and Breanne Fredrick, of Castalia, Andrea, Bethany, and Laura Rutger, of Vermilion, Noah, Evan, Corinne and Nathan Geiger, of Springhill, Tenn., and Brook and Brandi Peterson, of Fremont. He also loved his great-granchildren, all of whom survive. They are Zack and Trenton Peterson, of Fremont.
One nephew, Jeff Fastnaught, of Toledo, survives. One niece Chris Fastnaught is deceased.
A memorial service facilitated by Woodfin Funeral Chapel and Ransom Funeral Home will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, at First Christian Church on Hayes Avenue, Sandusky, with the Rev. Don Linn officiating. Burial will be at the Margaretta Township, Castalia Cemetery on Bardwell Roadin Castalia, immediately following the memorial service. A time for visitation with the family at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall will be after the graveside service.
Donations to your church or favorite charity are suggested by the family.
A Special thank you is given to the administration, doctors, and staff of the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro, for making the last year of Gary’s life as enjoyable as possible. Their expertise and kindness surpassed all expectations.