Robert Ernest Allen Jr.
July 9, 1925 – January 12, 2020
Robert Ernest Allen Jr. of Charlotte, NC died at Brighton Gardens on January 12, 2020. He was born on July 9, 1925 in Batesburg, SC at the home of his grandparents, Lodwick Thomas and Virginia Clinkscales Perry.
He was the son of Robert Ernest Sr. and Ellen Perry Allen. Mr. Allen attended the Charlotte schools and graduated from Central High School in June 1943. He became an Eagle Scout at age 15. He attended Clemson University for 2 years and was then drafted into the US Army at age 19. He completed basic infantry training at Camp Croft, SC and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the spring of 1945. Mr. Allen served as an infantry officer during the balance of World War II with the 53rd Infantry Regimental Combat Team at Camp Shelby, Miss./ North Camp Hood, Texas and Camp San Luis Obispo, California. He was a staff officer with the 104th Timber Wolf Division and also with the 78th Streak of Lightning Division in Germany. He retired from the US Army Reserve in 1958 in the rank of Captain.
He attended Vanderbilt University from 1947 to 1948 and graduated with BAs in Political Science and Letters and Laws. He was a member of Kappa Sigma and Delta Theta Phi fraternities. In February 1951 he graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree.
Upon returning to Charlotte he joined Gay and Taylor, a Winston-Salem legal firm. He left that firm in May 1952 and joined Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. In succeeding years he became a Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table and his picture appeared in Saturday Evening Post, Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal in consecutive years as a result of his nationally recognized sales record.
He was past president of the Charlotte Life Manager's Association. He served as North Carolina chairman of the Vanderbilt University Endowment Drive for many years and was president in 1960 of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association in Charlotte, NC. He was elected six times as an officer of the Minnesota Mutual National Field Council. He wrote numerous articles for insurance publications and spoke at many insurance company national conventions on the subject of estate planning.
During his youth Mr. Allen played the violin and at age 15 played viola in the Queens College-Davidson College Symphony Orchestra while a high school student. He had a lifetime interest in antique cars and owned Packards, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Hudsons, Nashes and many others. He was six times past president of the Hornets Nest Region of the Antique Auto Club of America. He, along with Humpy Wheeler and Bob Morris of the Charlotte Speedway, was founding president of the Charlotte Auto Fair in 1967. This show, in April and September, has now become one of the largest antique car shows and flea markets in the world.
Mr. Allen was an avid collector of rare books and antique firearms and he hunted each year as long as he was able. He also raised pigeons for decades and served as past president of the Piedmont Variety Pigeon Club. He had a particular interest in pigeon genetics and spoke on this subject to many civic clubs and church groups. He played tennis for many years at Old Providence, Carmel Country Club, Charlotte Indoor- Outdoor and several other local clubs.
During his latter years he wrote numerous articles for Member's Parade, the monthly publication of the Hornets Nest Region of AACA. These articles dealt with rare old cars which he and others owned, as well as early manufacturers of fine cars and the stylist who designed these cars. Mr. Allen's 1940 Lincoln Continental V-12 Convertible was featured in a book, "The Survivors", and was featured and appeared in the movie, "The Betsy", with Robert Duval and Lawrence Olivier. He also owned the only double custom 1923 Locomobile Sportif convertible
Being unable to play stringed instruments any longer because of arthritis, he turned to vocal music for 25 plus years and sang tenor at Westminster Presbyterian, St. John's Episcopal, Incarnation Lutheran and the Unitarian Universalist church choirs.
Mr. Allen is survived by his beloved wife, Antoinette Lawson Allen, six children: Karen Merchant, Brian Allen, Doug Allen, Kathi Shout, Julie Priest and Robin Allen, two step-children: Jennifer de Beaumont and Samuel Miller, fifteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
He is survived by his brother, Thomas Perry Allen of Lexington SC. He was preceded in death by his two sisters; Virginia Allen Miller and Martha Allen Smith.
He was always grateful for a long, rich and interesting life with many good friends.
The Allen family would like to thank Curtis Irwin, Bernie O'Neil, Art Bolz, Scott Conklin, John Jenkins, Roger Melville, Ron Stone and the Haddock boys for being long term faithful friends, as well as many others.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to either Carmel Presbyterian Church, 2048 Carmel Rd., Charlotte, NC 28226 or to Hospice of Charlotte at https://www.hpccr.org.
A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday February 8, 2020 at McEwen Funeral Service Pineville.
A burial service will be held at The Batesburg Cemetery, SC on W. Howard St on February 8, 2020 at 4:00.
On-line condolences may be shared at www.mcewenpinevillechapel.com.
Carmel Presbyterian Church
2048 Carmel Road, Charlotte, NC 28226
- Hospice & Palliative Care, Charlotte Region
Memorial Celebration of Life
McEwen Funeral Service
10500 Park Road
The Batesburg Cemetery
W. Howard Street
Robert Ernest Allen Jr.
January 15, 2020
First of all in great loving memory of Bob, we wish to send all our love and affection to Toni and the many family and friends of Bob. He truly was a member of the greatest generation to live on this earth. I feel honored to have become his friend. We came to know one another through our hobbys and shared many storys with one another. Bob enjoyed doing the driving around when we would go out, where he so pleased, too many to list all here. Proud of Bob and his remarkable smart family. Special hugs for you, Toni. May God comfort you all. Roger Melville & Kathleen Melville
January 14, 2020
I was introduced to the legendary Bob Allen in the late 1980’s by David Haddock. Bob was always so welcoming and encouraging of my budding interest in “old cars”. Over the next several decades we would all meet and travel above the Mason Dixon to attend the car show of car shows, Hershey. I will treasure those memories until we meet again at the big car show in the heavens.