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04/22/09 - NNHS Newsletter - John Allen

John Lafayette Allen, Jr.
(d. 20 Apr 2009)

Newport News High School Class of @ 1954

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   We have another sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter this morning.    John Allen, Class of @ 1954, brother of Charlie Allen ('56) of VA, Faye Allen Andrashko ('64) of VA,   Richie Allen ('66) of VA, and the late   Fred Allen ('55), passed away at home in Newport News on Monday, April 20, 2009 at the age of 73.

    From Sandi Bateman Chestnut ('65) of VA - 04/19/09 - "  John Allen":

Hi, Carol,

It seems like I'm always sending sad news lately, and I'm doing it yet again.    John Allen (Class of 54, I think), and brother of    Richie ('66), Charlie, the late   Fred Allen ('55) and Faye Allen Andrashko ('64) has been battling cancer for a few years. The last few months have been really tough and last week Hospice was called in.  The family is together today, as they've been told that John probably will not be with them much longer as his kidneys are failing.  Please add this wonderful family, who happen to be my former in-laws and good friends, to your prayer list.

   I'm so very sorry to hear this, Sandi! We'll keep them all in our prayers.

    From Sandi Bateman Chestnut ('65) of VA - 04/20/09, 3:16 PM - "   John Allen":

Hi, Carol,

I got a call this afternoon from    Richie (Allen - '66 - of VA) that his brother, John, had passed away earlier today (Monday, 4/20/09). I don't have any information about a service at this time, but he had made his wishes known to his family.  I will forward more information when I have it.  Ironically, the Allens were friends with     Donnie Spencer ('56), whom I just read also passed away today.  Our prayers to their family also.


   I'm so very sorry to hear this news, Sandi, but thank you for letting us know.Our prayers will be with the entire family.

From the Daily Press - 04/22/09:

                   John L. Allen, Jr.           
  NEWPORT NEWS - John Lafayette Allen Jr., 73, passed away Monday, April 20, 2009 at home. Born in Newport News, and a lifelong Peninsula resident, John retired as an aerospace project manager with NASA.

Mr. Allen was preceded in death by his parents, John L. Allen Sr., and Frances Monfalcone; and a brother, Fred Allen.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Fannon Allen; two daughters, Sabrina Barnes and husband, Hal of Smithfield, and Heather Eggleston and husband, Shawn of Dumfries; two brothers, Charlie Allen and wife, Sonja, and Richard Allen, both of Newport News; and a sister, Fay Andrashko and husband, Gary of Irvington. He is also survived by two brothers-in-law, Joe Fannon and wife, Tommie of Atlanta, Ga., and Kenny Fannon and wife, Jean of Duffield, Va.; two sisters-in-law, June Fannon, also of Duffield, and Gwen Allen of Newport News; three grandchildren, Brandon and Meghan Barnes, and Ian Eggleston.
John Allen

A Celebration of Life Service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, April 27, 2009, at First Baptist Church of Newport News, with a reception to follow. Arrangements are by Weymouth Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press from 4/22/2009 - 4/23/2009.
Guest Book


April 22, 2009

I am going to miss that voice when he answers the phone --Hello McGowan. John was a real friend and always fun to be around. I hope he and Dick get their wish of having the perfect golf swing while they play the course in heaven. I think Dick has already told John to get them a tee time.
John's energy and commitment will be missed by the CNU Theatre Guild and Life Long Learning.
My prayers are for his wonderful family and hope their strength will help them in this sad time.

~ Ellen McGowan, Wicomico, Virginia

April 22, 2009

Uncle John is one of my favorite uncles... I didn't see him much but I have great memories of his coming to Atlanta and visiting my family when I was a little girl and in Duffield on occasional holidays. I have not spent a lot of time with him and his family but after every visit I knew that I wish I could spend more time with them... I liked them all. My impression of him was that he was smart but not arrogant, cool, fun, funny, and warm. He was really sweet to his wife (my wonderful aunt Mary) and daughters, Sabrina and Heather ( my great cousins who I wish I saw more of). You are all in my prayers. I will miss him and I wish I could have played him in just one tennis match...

~ Susan Keith, Lilburn, Georgia

April 22, 2009

John was a man who enjoyed life and made life more enjoyable for me by just knowing him. We were coworkers at NASA and he made work seem like fun. We also were friends who enjoyed leisure activities like golf and fishing. The times we spent together will always be fond memories for me.

~ James Monteith, Yorktown, Virginia

April 23, 2009

John was a member of the '58 Aeros, a group of aeronautical engineers that graduated from Va. Tech in 1958. He was not an "aero" but an electrical engineer. He was adopted by the organization nonetheless. John always said he was hi-jacked and was forced to undergo a lobotomy to qualify. His real qualification was that he was a "Co-op", a student that alternated work sessions with college sessions. The '58 Aeros were mostly from the Hampton Roads Area and attended the Norfolk Division of W&M/VPI (ODU) before going on to Tech. Because we only attended college for 1/2 of the year, our graduation class moved on before us. As a result our 8-10 co-ops became a class of it's own and we became very close friends. This friendship continues today. John was one of us. He was "The Golden Owl", a corruption of "Al" (Allen) and embellished probably by John himself. We met Mary when John brought her to a dance week-end at Tech. They married after graduation as did most of us and we went about separate ways although we never lost touch. Since the children have moved on and retirement days are here, we are close again. Besides golf, John took time to join The Lifelong Learning Society of CNU eventually serving a term as president and was one of the founders of the CNU Theater Guild. There are many "Allen Stories" that could be told. I'll just tell one. For a while when we were at Tech, it was our practice to "sack out" after supper, get up at midnight, go to the "Bus Stop" for a snack, and then back to the dorm to study until class. One night we thought it would be a good idea to "wall" John in his room with cinder blocks left around a new dorm construction site. We lugged the blocks up to John's third floor room and blocked the door from floor to ceiling. We settled down to watch the fun start when John emerged for his midnight "Bus Stop" trip. "The Owl" opened his door. There was a pause and a disgusted grunt followed by a mighty kick which sent the wall of blocks tumbling into the hall with a thunderous roar. Needless to say, we were long gone by the time the last block fell. John appeared at the "Bus Stop" and nothing was ever said. I do, however, wonder what happened to the debris left in the hall. John, the legend lives on!
The '58 Aeros

Clay and Frances Hicks
Howard and Pat Robins
Bob and Carol Tolson
Lester and Carol Roane
Norris and Laura Mitchell
Bill and Judy Grossmann
George and Jean Young (both deceased)
George and Martha Ware

~ George Ware, Hampton, Virginia

April 23, 2009

God promised us a rainbow after the storm. John has found his rainbow. We may miss his loving handsclasp, his cheery smile, but God to us is whispering, 'tis only for a while.

~ Gene & "Sam" Wolfe, Crossville, Tennessee

April 24, 2009

I had the great pleasure to work with John at NASA for a number of years. There was Always a guaranteed smile when you talked with him, no matter how serious the topic.

As was said earlier - there are lots of "John" stories. We contractors that worked with him had smiles about the fact that he never kept his work desk very organized - an archeological dig of numerous layers comes to mind. What a truly wonderful man he was. I will miss his smile.

~ George Curran, Hampton, Virginia

April 24, 2009

I very much enjoyed being with John at work in the Scout Office at Langley, on the golf course and at any social events we were at together. He was always pleasant, funny and truly nice to be around - a real gentleman. I will miss him and remember you, Mary, in my prayers.
~ Rodney Duncan, Newport News, Virginia
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   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to the entire Allen family and their friends at this time.

   Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
746 Hillsboro Avenue
Edwardsville, IL 62025-1821  

Trust and Obey

- Lyrics by John H. Sammis, 1887;
Music by Daniel B. Towner

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy with Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide if we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy with Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy with Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

But we never can prove
The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
For the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy with Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet.
Or we'll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy with Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

"Trust and Obey" midi (sequenced by Brian M. Ames) and lyrics courtesy of - 11/22/08

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of 01/27/05

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

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