Lieutenant Colonel Robert D. Allen was born to Elizabeth (Ferguson) and Arthur Allen in Carroll, IA on October 15, 1935. He was raised in the small town of Glidden where he graduated from Glidden High School in 1954. He had already made his life's greatest choice when Sheryl Conner agreed to become his wife and life partner. They married on April 20, 1957. Bob graduated from the University of Wyoming in June of 1958 with a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He received his Master's in Education from the College of William and Mary, VA in 1974. Bob had a long and successful career in the USAF and was stationed all across the U.S. during his active duty years. He gave his family a wonderful opportunity to travel the U.S and get a broad cultural education. During his tour in Vietnam he was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron, Nha Trang, RVN. and was awarded two Silver Stars, The Distinguished Flying Cross with the V Device for valor in combat, and three Air Medals. The 20th Special Ops was also awarded The Army Presidential Unit Citation. Bob loved flying helicopters and his career as a pilot and his time in Vietnam were core to his identity. His family is very proud of his service to our Country. His last assignment brought him back to Central Iowa as an Associate Professor of Aerospace Studies at Iowa State University in Ames. Lt. Colonel Allen retired with 20 years of active service on Aug 30, 1978. After retiring, Bob owned and operated Cyclone Awards for several years.
Bob was also very active in the Masonic Lodge. He was Past Patron of Laura Chapter No. 115 OES, Grand Master of Haggai Lodge No. 369 Glidden, and Grand High Priest of York Rite of Iowa. He also was an active member of Arcadia Lodge No. 249 in Ames.
He spent several years as primary caretaker to Sherry as Multiple Sclerosis limited her abilities and eventually contributed to her death in 2007. They were a true partnership throughout their lives and left a lasting legacy of stubbornness, tenacity and commitment to family. He died on September 30, 2020 under the care of Suncrest Hospice.
Bob is survived by one sister Ruth (Bob) Nicholls of Newark, Delaware; children Karen Kerper, Marce (Bill) Bruhn, Steve (Lisa) Allen and son-in-law Chuck (Wendy) Baxter; 11 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members.
He was preceded in death by his wife Sherry; his daughter Christine Baxter; his son-in-law Mark Kerper; his parents; brother Charles Allen; sisters Kathryn Messerly and Dorothy Cuvelier.
Memorials may be given to the Shriner's Children's Hospital or Food at First.
A visitation will be held Wednesday, August 18, 2021, from 6-8 p.m. at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa. Interment with military honors will be Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. in Van Meter, Iowa at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. A light lunch will follow at the VFW in Van Meter.
Online condolences may be directed to www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com
Uncle Bob was the best! I loved our times together from the time he began college at the University of Wyoming, to when he married Aunt Sherry, and all the visits between Wyoming and Iowa over the years.
After I moved to Reno, Nevada, there was a special visit when Uncle Bob, Marce and Karen came for my installation as Worthy Matron of my Eastern Star Chapter. I will miss him.
Diane (Allen) Best
I was honored to have him appoint me to a Grand Chapter office. I learned a lot from his smile and teachings about a lot of things in life. I had the privilege of having him install me as Grand High Priest in 2002.
Vernon F Harrington PGHP
It was an honor and privilege to care for Bob. His humor was one of a kind and he always knew how to make me laugh. He is so greatly missed and I hope your family is able to find comfort during this time.
We were sorry to hear of Bob's death, but he fought the good fight for a long time. He and Sherry are together again. We remember all the good times when you kids were growing up, watching all the high school sporting events. Our thoughts and rayers are with you all.
John & Patt Nervig
Marce and family, so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Thinking of you all at this time.
I am so very sorry to hear the news of Bobs passing. I will always have a special place in my heart for all of you. Bob was and always will be a hero in my eyes and as far as that goes Sherry is right up there too. Much love and prayers to all of you and your families. My sincere sympathy Sheri
I worked with Bob in the Personnel Office of the Iowa Department of Transportation here in Ames. He was humble, always had a joke or humorous story, and was always a pleasant person. Bless you all. Eileen Primmer
Nate Brammer - Ames, IA
Bob was an awesome guy and so humble. We knew each other for quite a while before I understood how accomplished of man Bob really was while in the military, as an entrepreneur and as family man. He will be missed.
Bob was an angel taking care of my best friend, his wife Sherry. They can now be together without any pain. God bless the Allen family.
John Owen, veteran, Newton, IA -
I knew retired Lt. Col. Bob Allen when he and I worked in personnel for Ames-based Iowa transportation department. Bob promoted to be my boss, as well. I never met a better person or supervisor in or out of the military. Bob's humility of being from a small Iowa town, and his grasp of most things in life through travel around the globe, made him special to know and admire. May Bob's story of "the monkey and the skunk" be forever remembered for its humor about many of our situations in life. R.D., your "Rapid Deployment" surely ends in the highest altitude. Thanks, Bob, for guidance during a tough time. And may God bless you with His wings.
I am sorry to learning of Bob's passing. He was a wonderful guy and brother Mason. We had lots of good visits over the years. He and I both had the honor of serving as Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Iowa... he in 1995 and I in 2018. He was a special guy and will be greatly missed. Fly High Bob!
I am very sorry to learn of Bob’s death. It sounds like he had a wonderful life. I am the granddaughter of Merle Ferguson, Elizabeth Ferguson’s younger brother. I know of our connection through my grandfather’s and my own work on the family genealogy. If anyone has an interest in the family history, you can contact me at [email protected]. Please accept my condolences on the passing of Bob. Sincerely, Susan Hayes Taber
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Ames, IA 50010
Adel, , Iowa 50003-3300