NO. 17941 • 19 September 1927 – 25 July 2010
Died in Weston, FL
Interred in Presbyterian Cemetery, Hollidaysburg, PA
John Wesley "Jake" Allen Jr., was born on Sep 19, 1927, in Altoona, PA, to Margaret and John Allen. He grew up in Hollidaysburg, PA, with his two sisters, Peggy and Priscilla. During his high school years at Hollidaysburg High School he played basketball and was captain of the football team. He was elected class president his junior year and served as class vice president during his senior year.
Upon graduation in December 1944, he enlisted in the Army. He attended Virginia Military Institute, Amherst College, and received his appointment to West Point. Jake entered the Academy in 1946 and quickly adjusted to cadet life. During his cadet years he played intramural golf and handball, was a member of the Russian Club, and served as the Hop Manager for all four years. An excerpt in his senior yearbook stated, "Jake Allen. The very name strikes fear in the hearts of all those who dabble in the pasteboards. But they are not alone—the Tactical and Academic Departments also quake at that name. Jake, the man of a thousand faces (Kings, Queens, and Jacks), is hereby voted the man most likely to upset all conventions and the only man who is reputed to have won Corporal stripes in a game of chance." He made many friends that he would hold dear throughout his lifetime.
After graduating with his class in 1950, Jake was off to Ft. Benning, GA, for the Infantry Officer Basic Course. Upon completion he reported to his 1st assignment with the 3rd Armored Division at Ft. Knox, KY. While there, Jake returned to Hollidaysburg to marry Eloise Smith. He often spoke of the "one glance" in which they both knew they would have a life together. Although knowing each other growing up in the same town, it wasn’t until their college years that they really discovered their connection. He and Eloise spent the next forty-eight years together. They had a son, Robert, and a daughter, Diane. Robert and his wife, Gail Taylor, have a son, Lance, and two daughters, Stephanie and Lindsay. Diane and her husband, Colonel (Ret) Robert Myers, have a daughter, Kimberly, and a son, Robert. Jack also enjoyed spending time with his great-grandkids.
From Ft. Knox, Jack was assigned to Far East Command Liaison Detachment, Korea. After initially serving as an advisor, he was reassigned to command the Tactical Liaison Office, an agent line crossing unit. He led approximately seventy-five missions dispatching and retrieving line crossing agents. He extended his tour and continued the same work on the island of Yodo.
His subsequent assignments took him to Ft. Benning, Ft. Holabird, Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Riley, and USAREUR’s V Corps Headquarters. Following his assignment in Europe he attended the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School where he received his master’s degree in business administration in 1967. His follow-on assignment was to the ODCA at the Department of the Army in Washington, DC.
In 1969 he was assigned to the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam where he served in the J-3 office. After his tour in Vietnam he returned to the DC area where he was assigned to the Combat Development Command. His final assignment was as the Director of Evaluation with the Headquarters, CONFOR Group. Jack retired in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel after having served over 22 years of active duty.
Lieutenant Colonel Allen graduated from the Command and General Staff Officer Course and received numerous awards including the Combat Infantry Badge, WWII Victory Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Star service stars, RVN Commendation Medal with 60 Device, Joint Service Commendation Medal and two Legions of Merit. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Korean War Veterans Association, and a lifetime member of the Hollidaysburg American Legion.
Upon retiring, Jack and Eloise resided in Arlington, VA. They took every opportunity to travel, stayed active with classmates in the area, and participated in all Class of ’50 events. Jack started his own paper company and worked hard when he wasn’t following the sport of kings. He sold his company in 1989 and made golf his full-time passion. When not on the links he watched his St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Redskins. Eloise passed away in 2000. After a few more years in the DC area, Jack joined Diane and her family in San Antonio, TX, in 2005. Dad brought a great deal to our family as he participated in all family activities on a daily basis. From birthdays to vacations, holidays to dinners out, Dad never passed up the opportunity for a teaching moment. He spent every Thanksgiving with his son’s family, keeping all grandkids, spouses, and great-grandkids in awe of his general knowledge while playing Trivial Pursuit. Christmas was spent in San Antonio with Diane’s family, wowing the grandkids, spouses, and great-grandkids with his incredible memory of his childhood and his jokes of the day.
Jack passed away while vacationing with Diane and her family in July 2010. His memory will live on for generations to come as we are reminded every day of things Dad said or did throughout his life. Very special to Dad was his ability to attend the 60th reunion of his class in May 2010. He will live on in our hearts forever.
— A loving family