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Obituary – Robert Allen

Last Updated on August 26th, 2018

Written by Paul Bomleny

Robert Harrison Allen, 87, was called home at 1:45am on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at Liberty Village in Princeton, IL.

Robert (often called Bob) was born in Princeton on January 15, 1931, to Henry and Beulah (Whaley) Allen. His Great Grandparents arrived in Bureau County by covered wagon and owned a farm on Center Prairie. His Grandpa Whaley cleared land and started a farm near Kasbeer, and it was on that farm that Bob spent most of his childhood. He spoke fondly of his boyhood years working in the fields and doing chores. He graduated from Lamoille High School in 1949, where he lettered in football and was appointed captain of the team his senior year.

Bob began his studies to become a minister at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. There he met Mary Bellows, and they were married in Elgin, IL, on August 3, 1951. It was also in Elgin that he pastored his first church while continuing his studies at Emmaus Bible School nearby. He received his ordination at the Kasbeer Community Church on April 25, 1953. In 1964, he transferred his ordination to the Evangelical Free Church of America. Bob went on to serve as pastor at several churches in Wisconsin: Plum City, Pepin, and Stoughton (where he oversaw the move into a new building). In 1971, Bob returned to Bureau County where he pastored for many years at the Congregational Bible Church of Wyanet and the First Congregational Church of Bureau (where he held the office of Pastor Emeritus at the time of his death). Additionally, he served as an interim pastor at the Manlius Baptist Church and the Kasbeer Community Church and supplied pulpits all over the county for many years.

Robert is survived by two children: Robert Glenn Allen of Princeton and Vonette (Dana) Miller of Walla Walla, WA; eight grandchildren: Jerason (Ksenia) Banes of Niles, IL, Jensa and Jingher Banes of WI, Jera Wyn of Crivitz, WI, Joshua (Katie) Allen of Macclenny, FL, Robert Miller of Cambridge, MA, Andrew Miller of Seattle, WA, and Stephen Miller of Walla Walla, WA; eight great grandchildren: Jonas and Isaac Banes; Lyra, Ephraim, and Soraya Wyn; and Embry, Korben, and Lawton Allen; two brothers: Richard Allen of Chicago, IL, and Roland Allen (Robert’s twin) of Columbus, OH, several nephews and nieces, and several grandnieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mary, his daughter Donna Joy Banes, his son-in-law Jerry Banes, and his daughter-in-law Anastasia Allen.

Bob loved children and was a popular school bus driver for the Wyanet and Princeton school districts for many years. He donated his time to many organizations. Kids’ Klub was especially dear to his heart, and he served them in various capacities for over 30 years. Genealogy fascinated Bob, and he served at the Bureau County Genealogical Society for several years. He was also very much involved with the Bureau County Senior Center, the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging, WUNT Christian radio station, and the Evangelical Association. In later years, he dedicated himself to taking care of his wife Mary when her health declined. Bob gave freely of his time and energy to everyone and everything he cared about, but his first priority was always to serve Christ, and he began every day by reading his Bible and praying.

A funeral service will be held at 11am on Friday, August 31, at Grant Johnson Funeral Home in Princeton with visitation Thursday from 5-7pm also at the funeral home. Burial will be in Elm Lawn Memorial Park in Princeton. Memorials may be directed to Kids’ Klub Inc and to the First Congregational Church of Bureau.