His musical career continued throughout his life; writing and performing his own songs, accompanying himself with guitar, primarily telling stories of the Black West. He was a frequent presenter at museum programs, educational seminars, festivals, and libraries, presenting material based on solid historic research as well as drawing on his own socio-ethnic experience. In 2003 and 2004 he participated as a project artist in Riverside with “Family Voices,” a Mission Inn Museum Community Heritage program. One of his venues was the Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles. In 1999 he placed first in the California Country Music Association Competition with his song, “I’ve Been There.” He had his own recording label, “Rollin’ Country.” Allen was also author of “The Horsechiefs,” a book published online. In 2004 Allen and Gail moved from Riverside to Lake Oswego, Ore., where he was employed by Home Depot in Tigard, Ore. In 2010 he transferred to the Home Depot in Crescent City as supervisor of the plumbing department.
Daily hikes in the redwoods or on the beach was an important part of his life. He enjoyed spending time observing the elk herds in Crescent City as well as Prairie Creek. A recent highlight of his life was a road trip across the U.S. in 2012, visiting Gail’s home areas in Wisconsin and Illinois and spending time with his parents and siblings in Pennsylvania. Another highlight was a European trip in 2013 to Ireland, England and Germany.
Allen is survived by his wife, Gail; his parents Jay and Ollie Lee; siblings Robert, Lana, Lena and Marlyn Lee; nieces and nephews and stepchildren and grandchildren. After surgery for colon cancer at Rogue Valley Hospital, Ore., he came home and passed away peacefully early in the morning of June 24.
A poignant line to his wife from one of his songs: “I’ve been there for you darlin’, I’ve been there.” And he always was.
Friends, neighbors, family are invited, Saturday, July 19, 2014, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 275 Harbor View Drive, Crescent City. Potluck — bring a dish to share and drinks. RSVP at 503-754-0908 to Gail Lee.