Bernice Albert “Bernie” Allen, 96, of Interlachen, passed away Monday, October 31, 2016 at Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center of natural causes. Born in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, he graduated from Enterprise High School and attended Copiah-Lincoln Junior College until the outbreak of World War II. He settled in Putnam County with his family in 1963 after many moves for the US Air Force. A U.S. Air Force veteran of World War II and Korea, Bernie retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel following 21 years of service. While serving in England during WWII, he flew 59 combat missions from Fowlmere in the P51 Mustang. After WWII, he was part of The Army of Occupation in Japan from 1946 to 1948 stationed at Ashiya Airfield. Lt Col Allen was a recipient of the Bronze Star and Air Medal. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he worked 10 years as a computer operator at the University of Florida.
In retirement, Bernie was an avid gardener and member of the American Camellia Society. He was well-known in the West Putnam area for the camellias he grew and shared with others. He was also an avid outdoorsman enjoying, bird hunting, all kinds of fishing, and birding in his leisure time. He and Lorraine put a lot of miles on their motorhome traveling the country birding and fishing. Bernie was the fire chief for the Interlachen Volunteer Fire Department for 12 years bringing the first jaws of life to the department. Bernie had attended St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Interlachen.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Lorraine G. Allen.
Lt Col Allen is survived by his children, Gayle Allen Freeman (Bill) of Lenexa, KS, Doug Allen (Elizabeth) of the home in Interlachen, Lisabeth “Sissy” Weber (Tim) of Palatka, a sister, Anna Ruth Peets (Albert Ray) of Wesson, MS, 2 brothers, Edwin Allen of Jackson, MS and Alvin Allen of Virginia Beach, VA, 3 grandchildren, Allen Gibson (Stacey), John Gibson and Lee Sheridan (Mellissa) and 5 great-grandchildren, Muriel Gibson, Aaron Gibson, Ilyssa Gibson, Henry Gibson and Andie Lee Sheridan.
Memorial services honoring and celebrating Lt Col Allen’s life will be at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, November 5, 2016 at Johnson-Overturf Chapel in Interlachen with Bro. Ricky Bybee officiating. Graveside services will follow at PineView Cemetery in Interlachen with the U.S. Air Force conducting full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be sent to Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, 380 Boys Ranch Road, Palatka, FL 32177.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Bernie’s Book of Memories page at www.JohnsonOverturffunerals.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Interlachen.