Donald's Story

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A joint ceremony and celebration for Donald Ray Allen, 81, and Giesel Allen, 83, both of Madison, Alabama, will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Criswell Funeral Home in Ada. The Rev. Harold Ware will officiate. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery with the U.S. Army Honor Guard performing military honors for Mr. Allen.
Donald Ray (Papa) Allen, of Madison, passed away Aug 2, 2017, in Huntsville, Alabama. Mr. Allen was born May 19, 1936, in Ada to Richard Stanford Allen and Ruth Elizabeth Moore. Following the death of his parents at a young age, he was raised by his paternal grandmother, Mae Allen, and his father's family.
Mr. Allen enlisted in the U.S. Army in Oklahoma City May 20, 1953, and served on active duty until May 1, 1956. While stationed in France, he met the love of his life, Gigi, and they were married in 1995 in Orleans, France. He served in the Army National Guard until February 1961 and attained the rank of SP3 in the Quartermaster Corp., and then Unit Supply NCO with the Army European Command in Germany. In February 1961 he reverted to active duty as an SP5, was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois, and attained the rank of SP7 (E7) in March 1966. In February 1968 he was promoted to Warrant Officer Unit Supply Technician and served tours in Vietnam, from June 1968 to May 1969, and again from November 1970 to November 1971. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 March 31, 1978, in Fort Ord, California, with nearly 25 years of service, including nine years overseas. During this time, he was awarded two Bronze Star medals for meritorious service, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation, three Army commendation medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, two national defense medals, two good conduct awards and a marksman medal.
Mr. Allen was then employed as a Department of Defense civilian stationed at Fort Ord, California, Germany and Texas. His wife, Gigi, was his partner throughout his military career. They moved to Madison in 1996, where they concluded his 20-year civil service career at Redstone Arsenal's U.S. Army Material Command in Huntsville.
He was survived by his loving wife of more than 61 years, Gisele Louie Allen, for 12 days.
He is survived by his daughter, Linda Hawk (Allen) and John R. Hawk III of Florida; his son, Philip and Diane Allen of California; his grandchildren, Jennifer Erin Cassidy (Allen), Tara Renee Hawk (Allen), Theresa Marie Wiseman (Allen), John R. Hawk IV and Elizebeth Louie Allen; six great-grandchildren; and his nephews, Stacey and Ricky Allen and Billy and Cathy Hunter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Brenda Gooding (Allen); his nephew Steven; and his brother, Connie Allen.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Southern Care Hospice's Grace Fund, 200 Westside Square, Suite 440, Huntsville, AL 35801, or Always There, 820B Franklin St. SE, Huntsville, AL 35801.
His family will forever be grateful for the staff, nurses and caregivers that provided their love, compassion, prayers and guidance.
Published on August 25, 2017
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