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Tuesday, April 11, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
In Minden, Louisiana on December 16, 1930, a son, William Joseph Allen was born to Vivian Martin and Lawrence Clyde Allen. Joe went to his heavenly reward at 92 years of age on Saturday, April 8, 2023. His life will be celebrated at Broadmoor Baptist Church Memorial Chapel, 4110 Youree Drive, Shreveport, LA, at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Church Parlor. Officiating will be Dr. Tom Harrison, Executive Pastor, assisted by Dr. Larry Williams, Retired Minister to Senior Adults, both of Broadmoor Baptist Church, and Dr. John Henson, Pastor of The Church for the Highlands. Marcia Harper, retired church pianist, and family friend will share her talent. Joe had been a resident of Brookdale Senior Living for the last four years. A private burial service will be held later at the family plot in the Minden Cemetery.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife of nearly sixty-eight years, Louise Robinson Allen, one brother, two sisters, his parents, and several beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
He is survived by his sister, Mary Allen Plonsky, of Lafayette, LA; three children, William J. “Bill” Allen, Jr., wife, Bonnie, Catherine Allen Smith, husband Lewis, and Andrew Martin Allen, wife Gwendolyne; five grandchildren, Elizabeth Allen Jones, Andrew Jeremy Allen, Robert Lewis Smith, III, Alexander James Allen, Rachel Allen, one great-grandchild Caroline Elizabeth Jones, and many nieces and nephews.
Joe lived a happy life, filled with contentment and purpose. At the age of eight, his family relocated to New Orleans, where he attended public schools and was introduced to the cornet. His love of singing began in the Baptist Church. After graduating from Forche High School, he began his college studies at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. Assisted by a baseball and music scholarship, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. A part-time job while in college turned into a full-time position as Purchasing Agent at Southern Baptist Hospital in New Orleans. There he met the “prettiest student nurse I’ve ever seen” from Arkansas, Louise Robinson or “Pete” as family and friends called her. She became the love of his life, and they were married June 29, 1951. A few years later, a son was born, William Joseph Allen, Jr.
Uncle Sam interfered with Joe’s career when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He spent his military years at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas playing “Taps” at the military funerals, and serving in the Fourth Army Band. To hear Joe tell it, he was not “in the army, I was in the band.” It was there that their only daughter, Catherine Louise Allen, was born. Resuming his civilian life, the family of four moved to Chicago, Illinois for Joe to attend Northwestern University. There he received his Master’s Degree in Hospital Administration with assistance from the G.I. bill. This made him the first resident of Louisiana to receive this degree, which served him well his entire professional life.
The family returned to New Orleans where another son, Andrew Martin Allen was born. The family soon moved to Shreveport where Joe became the Assistant Administrator of Confederate Memorial Hospital where he served for three years. After a few years in Many, Louisiana where under his direction, the size of the hospital was doubled, the family returned to Shreveport so Joe could be the Administrator at Highland Hospital at its original location. He led the hospital through a large remodeling program and remained as the administrator there for ten years.
During the Shreveport years, Joe felt compelled to join the Gray Allison Evangelistic Association. Through his work with Dr. Allison, Joe served on the founding board of the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. For many years, he and Louise visited the main campus in Memphis for the Seminary’s Anniversary. Joe and Pete also gave up two weeks of their vacation to serve as chaperones for the annual Chapel Choir Tour. They continued serving even when they no longer had children participating. Joe asked all the kids to call him “Joe Baby,” a nickname his mother gave him many years before. The name stuck and he asked everyone who encountered him at Brookdale to call him “Joe Baby,” where he was loved by many because he was always supportive and encouraging.
George W. Truett Hospital, part of the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas was Joe’s next Hospital Administration position, followed by Titus County Regional Medical Center, Mount Pleasant, TX. While there, Joe and Louise were instrumental in establishing Trinity Baptist Church. Later, Joe served as a Hospital Consultant and in interim positions in hospitals from Waco, TX to Port St Joe, FL. He returned to his South Louisiana roots to the Bogalusa Medical Center where he retired the day he turned 65 after 40 years of service in the hospital field.
He and “Pete” returned to Shreveport, LA to be closer to the children and grandchildren. They spent their retirement years gardening, taking care of their pond, enjoying being with grandkids, and traveling. Their home was a constant hub of activity with burgers on Saturday nights, and lunch after church on Sundays. They were active once again at Broadmoor Baptist Church where they were committed to their Sunday School Classes and Joe was an integral part of the Church Orchestra. He also played in the Shreveport Metropolitan Band for many years.
Joe will be missed by family and friends, and the many lives he touched with his “Joe-isms,” too many to mention here. The family would like to thank the administration, staff and resident assistants at Brookdale of Shreveport for their care during his four years with them. A very special thank you to Shareika Smith, his personal care giver, his BFF, and who considered him her “Paw-Paw.”
Joe had a strong and simple faith in the Lord Jesus! He lived his faith in his positive outlook, kind heart, and service to others. He loved to sing with his strong voice and play his brass instruments to lead in worship. He will be ushered into God’s Kingdom when His Savior says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Honoring their Daddy Joe’s memory as pallbearers will be his grandchildren and great-grandchild. The family suggest memorials be made to the Broadmoor Baptist Church Library, 4110 Youree Drive, Shreveport, LA, 71105, or Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, 2095 Appling Road, Cordova, TN 38016.