1933 Ralph 2017

Ralph Lee Allen

June 3, 1933 — October 6, 2017


June 3,1933 - October 6, 2017

Ralph ("put your hand over your heart and face the South") Lee Allen, age 84, passed away in the early hours of Oct 6th 2017, surrounded by loved ones comforting him through the last days of his life. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio on June 3, 1933 to George and Martha Myra Johnson Allen. When he was just 5 weeks old, the family moved to the hills of Kentucky, thereby giving him the proud ownership of being a Kentuckian.

He claims Kentucky as home, as he was raised there with his eight siblings, and a considerable extended family. Ralph comes from a long line of "hillbillies" and he is "prouder than heck" to be called one! As a youngn' he roamed the hills trapping, fishing, hunting, and swimming in the "ole swimming hole". He rode a mule to school, church, town, and everywhere; not just for the adventure, but because he had no shoes.

The family sustained themselves by laboring in the cotton and tobacco fields. By others' standards, the family was considered "poor-folk", but Ralph never knew it . . . they always had "free-range "chickens & eggs, rabbits and squirrels with a wild hog now and then. The boys each had a pair of overalls that lasted them two years or better and the girls had lovely dresses made from the floral milled flour sacks.

Growing-up he found he had a great love for the hillbilly music that was played and sung all around him. He soon realized he had an ear for music and a voice to sing it. He sang his first public song, "Two Little Children" at age five in his school's talent concert. Encouraged by that experience he worked hard and taught himself to play the guitar. He became skilled enough to perform anywhere, anytime, and ALL the time. As an adult, he formed two bands that played at the best clubs, honky-tonks, and neighborhood bars.

In his youth, he and his best friend Billy Newport, on a dare, crossed over the state line into Tennessee and married each other's sister. He married Anna Lorraine Newport in 1951. His sister, Wanda June Allen married Billy Newport the same day. Ralph and Lorraine had three children, Patsy Ann, Gary Dean, and Terry Lee. Although neither marriage survived, Ralph and Billy continued to be best friends. In 1952 they enlisted together to serve in the Korean War.

Upon completion of their military service Ralph and Billy returned home. They found home less than exciting after being stationed in California for the last two years. So, again, on a dare, they headed back to California. There Ralph met a lovely young lady at a dance and he knew then she was the "one" for him.

Ralph married Fern Dever in March of 1958 in Las Vegas. He instantly became a father to Fern's five children: Dolly, Danny, Arlene, Darlene, and George. He was thrilled; he came from a large family and always wanted to have one. Marrying Fern also introduced him to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He had never heard of "Mormons", so he investigated The Church to learn about it and see if it really was the "only" true church. The missionaries taught him, extended family members taught him and bore testimony to him; but it was through Dolly's & Danny's examples and firm testimonies that he was converted. It only took twelve years. Ralph progressed in his knowledge and testimony of the gospel. He served in many callings including that of bishop in the California Hawthorn Ward. After he and Fern retired to Utah in 1982 he served as a branch president in the Missionary Training Center for seven years, and as a temple worker until 2008.

During his life Ralph worked as a farmer, home builder, and as an aircraft machinist. He enjoyed a lengthy career with The Boeing Company. (He often bragged about working on the space shuttle!)

Two years after the passing of his eternal companion, Fern, he married Patricia Howell-Allen in 2006. Ralph and Pat spent more than a decade traveling abroad and exploring other destinations in their motorhome. They especially enjoyed traveling to Ralph's family reunions in Kentucky. They recently celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Martha and George. Sisters: Twins Lois and Joyce Anita, Ferby and June. Brothers: Twins Billy and Johnny Carl. Sons: Gary and Terry.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Patricia Howell-Allen, his brother Wayne. Children: Dolly (Larry) Ostler, Danny (Leah) Dever, Arlene Murray, Darlene (Martin) Houck, George (Toni) Dever, and Patsy Orellana, 26 grandchildren, 95 great-grandchildren, and seventeen great-great-grandchildren.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Lee Allen, please visit our flower store.


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