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David Elmer Allen, the third child of David Thornton and Julia Maudlin Allen, was born Dec. 21, 1925. Dave passed away peacefully on Oct. 10, 2015, at Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Meeker, Colo.
Early in 1927, Dave and his mother, Julia Allen, moved to the Keystone Ranch northwest of Meeker, where Julia was employed as cook and housekeeper for Delaney Brothers. Dave’s brother, Tom, and sister, Edna Mae, stayed with their Aunt Bessie Wear and family or Uncle Elmer Maudlin and family and attended schools in Meeker and Maybell. Dave went to the Price Creek School from the Keystone Ranch.
Although these were the years of the Great Depression, Dave and his mother had a very good life on the ranch, where all their needs for food and shelter were met.
About 1937, the Delaney Brothers sold the Keystone Ranch, which was managed by Ed Delaney. Ed then moved to the ranch west of Meeker, which was the old Delaney Ranch, and Julia and David moved there. Dave then attended school at White River City.
After Ed died in 1939, Julia moved her family to Meeker, where Dave said they were to realize more than before the impact of the Great Depression.
When Dave began school in Meeker that fall, Meeker Elementary School was new and the children played games on and around the mounds of excavated dirt still in the school yard.
His early interest in sports found Dave on the basketball and football teams in high school, traveling to other towns with Coach Paul Starbuck and the townspeople for games.
Pearl Harbor, a U.S. territory, was bombed by the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war the following day, on Dec. 8. A month and two years later, shortly after Dave turned 18 during his junior year in high school, he received his draft notice from Uncle Sam. This was in January of 1944. By March of that same year, Dave had entered the U.S. Navy.
Dave went from training at Farragut, Idaho, to California, where he was sent to Hawaii. He then went to the Marianas Islands, where he boarded his ship, the Destroyer, USS John Rodgers, and spent his wartime service in the Pacific theater of war, fighting Japanese military.
The war finally ended in August 1945, and Dave continued to serve until March 1946. He was now a man who was only 20 years old.
Dave had been employed before his time in the service by the Colorado Department of Highways (now CDOT), and he went back to this job when he came home in 1946. Through his 35 years of service, he worked between Rifle, Meeker, Craig and as far away as Berthoud Pass. He also lived and worked for six of these years in Granby, where he held the very important job of clearing the northwest side of Trail Ridge Road each spring, meeting the Estes Park crew, which was clearing the road from the other side. Their meeting at the top opened up travel through Rocky Mountain National Park after the long winter of deep, impassable roads. Dave retired from the State Highway Department in Meeker in January 1981 as senior foreman.
Dave married Bessie Lumpkin in Meeker on Jan. 8, 1949. They would have been married 67 years this January! In December of 1963, they purchased a historical brick home on Cleveland Street, which they still own today, 51 years later.
Dave and Bessie were blessed with three children: Patricia (Patsy) Nay and husband George of Meeker, David Allen and wife Nancy of Meeker, and Timothy Allen of Silt; nine grandchildren: Danina, Amy, Kristina, Joshua, Katy, Keri, Julie, Sean and Brittany; and 16 great-grandchildren: Taylor, Elise, Kacey, Breck, Isaiah, Alyssa, Jackson, Caden, Jacob, Will, Lily, James, Thomas, Fiona, Chandelle and Zachary.
Dave loved and enjoyed them all, and he especially liked playing his harmonica for them.
Dave continued to work after his state retirement. He drove a “CB” bus to Piceance Creek during the oil shale boom in 1981-82. He was a school bus driver for 23 years—for activity trips, relief routes and routes that were also his own. During seven years of this, he also took care of maintenance of the greens and equipment at Meeker Golf Course.
Dave was an accomplished musician, playing the drums in several bands from 1953 to 1983. The first was the Elks Lodge Orchestra in Craig from 1953-54. He played with Al Wear and his band, and he played with the Wagoneers, which consisted of Sam and Jeannie Lockhart, Ernie Coats and Dave.
Dave was active in the community as a volunteer fireman, ambulance driver and EMT from 1970 to 1985. He also served on the town council for eight years.
Dave’s favorite activities were fishing, boating, camping and hunting on Cold Springs Mountain near Brown’s Park with his friends. Dave enjoyed snowmobiling. He also was an avid Denver Broncos fan!
Dave is survived by: his wife, Bessie of the home; all of this children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; his sister, Edna Mae Gould; his many nieces and nephews; and his cousins, George and Alva Wear, Lanor and Lavon Maudlin; and numerous second cousins.