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photo of bill allen William A (Bill) Allen
March 21, 1933 - August 17, 2014

SAN ANGELO Husband. Father. Son. Brother. Uncle, Unkie, Unk. Friend. Favored Teacher. Model Student. Patriot. Veteran. Storyteller. Minstrel. Jester. Life of the Party. Man of God.

From a childhood of ups and downs through the Bronx, confronted by the many challenges of that era, Bill found his way through those times, and through the stories he experienced and learned to tell, lived a life that made all those around him better and happier and made sure his beautiful bride and the blessed family they raised never wanted for anything. Through the cultures he met and embraced and the leadership he exemplified through his career in the Air Force and afterwards in the civil service, he paved a path that led the way to a better life for many. Through travels in retirement with Celeste and many friends, they enjoyed Greece, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Alaska; his ability to make a friend anywhere and tell a story were proven over and over. In fact, the only thing Bill liked better than telling a story, was telling a story twice. Annual Easter gatherings in Junction, Texas, where the San Antonio and San Angelo military families picnicked regardless of weather, were favored storytelling times. The annual gathering of the same clans to celebrate Chinese New Year, either in San Angelo or San Antonio, added to the lore. Family travels for a Christmas in Seaside, Florida, to the Texas Coast and to Charleston, South Carolina, made for wonderful memories, new friends and more stories. Through the faith that he lived and taught, he created a way that led so many to the church he loved and lived. Through the true joy of life he exemplified in everything he did, he lived his life out loud, enabling all of us around him to do the same. Through his unwavering commitment to family and friends, he made sure we all knew we mattered.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William Edward and Gertrude Steele Allen; his sisters, Roberta Grosso and Patricia "Pat" Domon; and his brother, Donald Allen. He is survived by his wife, Celeste B. Allen of San Angelo; his daughters, Maura Gast and her husband, Marty, of Flower Mound and Jane Allen of Flower Mound, Texas; numerous nieces and nephews; and his extended military family.

He began his career in the Air Force in July 1951, and was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. His career in the military as a Chinese linguist included assignments in the Republic of Philippines, Republic of China in Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany, North Africa/French Morocco, Bangkok, Thailand, Oregon, Washington, Fort Meade, Maryland, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, and Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo. Among the awards and decorations he received for his service were the National Defense Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Air Force Longevity Service Award; Air Force Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal; Republic of Viet Nam Gallantry Cross; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; and Army Occupation Medal. Following his retirement from active duty in the Air Force on Nov. 1, 1971, as master sergeant, he went back to school, receiving his Bachelor of Arts (1973) and then Masters of Arts (1975) from Angelo State University. He worked at the Texas Employment Commission, helping counsel job seekers and connecting employers with candidates. He returned to Goodfellow Air Force Base in the civil service, serving as the First Wing historian, registrar, training development chief, training advisor and flight commander. He was recognized with several awards and commendations during this service including: the Civilian Commendation Award ? Air Training Command; and the Department of Air Force Performance Award for three consecutive years.

He retired again in 1997, after a combined 37 years of military and civil service. In retirement, Bill did not sit still. He joined the Concho Cadre, welcoming businesses, groups and visitors to the San Angelo community and was recognized as the Concho Cadre Newcomer of the Year. Wednesday mornings were usually held for coffee with fellow military retirees, where stories were told and the world's problems solved. It was at Holy Angels Catholic Church, however, where his greatest energies were committed in his retirement. He served as lay presider of the Liturgy of the Word, team member for the Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program and participated in the hospital ministry which brought Communion to patients. He and Celeste were regulars at the daily 8:30 a.m. Mass. The Indian Prayer was a favorite of his and he used it when he presided at this Liturgy. His wife, Celeste, was the love of his life. His children, Jane and Maura, the apples of his eye. His was a life of faith, of joy, of hope, of servant leadership, of heart. Well done, good and faithful servant. Memorial Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, at Holy Angels Catholic Church with the Rev. Charles Greenwell as celebrant. Inurnment will follow in Holy Angels Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Family and friends may sign an online register book at See more at: (Click Here)
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