OBITUARY

Bob Allen

July 13, 1946October 20, 2016

Legendary Houston Sporstscaster Bob Allen passed away on Thursday, the 20th of October 2016, following a valiant battle with cancer. He was 70 years of age. Dave Ward, the longtime Houston television news anchor, says he was walking down the street one day years ago when a young boy rushed up to him and said, breathlessly: "You're Dave Ward! Do you know Bob Allen?" Ward, indeed, knew Bob Allen. Most everyone in Houston, in fact, knew Allen, the longtime Houston sportscaster at KTRK (Channel 13) and, from 2013 through 2015, at KHOU (Channel 11), who died early Thursday after a 16-month battle with cancer. He was 70. For more than 38 years at Channel 13, working alongside Ward and his other colleagues as one of the nation's longest-tenured sports anchors, Allen was the nightly pipeline to the Oilers, Astros and Rockets and other pro, college and high school teams for hundreds of thousands of viewers on Houston's most-watched newscasts. While chronicling some of the most memorable moments in Houston sports history, he also became a friend and benefactor to dozens of young men and women through his work with the Sunshine Kids and Special Olympics. "I really did get to live my dream," he said in a 2013 interview. "I did what I loved to do, and I did it for a pretty long time without ever having to leave my home town." Allen was diagnosed in the spring of 2015 with T-cell lymphoma, a variety of blood cancer that derives from the abnormal growth of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a role in the body's immune system. He received a stem cell transplant in December and in February said he was cancer-free before complications developed in recent weeks. He spent the final two weeks of his life at home in hospice care. Allen's daughter, Genna Fincher, said in a statement, "We are so incredibly touched by the love and support shown to us during this difficult time. My dad valued his place in the Houston community, and the encouragement he received from you over the last two years gave him more strength and comfort than you will ever know." Loved sports as a boy Born Robert Alan Egalnick, Allen was the son of Lee Egalnick, founder of the Karl Young League for youth baseball, and played the sport while growing up. He also was a television junkie. In a 2013 interview, he said that at age 10 he rode his bicycle from the family home in West University Place to Channel 13's studios so he could meet news anchor Ray Conaway and sportscaster Guy Savage. After graduating from Westbury High School and Stephen F. Austin State University, he began his career at KPRC (950 AM) and joined Channel 13 in July 1974 as a weekend anchor. He was named sports director in 1975 and remained a fixture for decades. "I was with him on that desk for 38 years," Ward said. "He had a huge smile, a great smile. And he was big with kids, like the little boy who called him BobAllen, in one word. He told them how their teams were doing, win or lose." Allen left Channel 13 early in 2013 and, in an unexpected career twist six months later, became sports director at Channel 11. He remained on the air at KHOU until June 2015, when he disclosed his illness and began treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. "When he became ill, he said, hey, I'm going to beat this thing, but if not, I've had a great life," said his brother, Ken Egalnick. "He went into it with that attitude. He fought like hell, but he had no regrets." Allen's home was lined with memorabilia from his years covering Houston sports, including tickets from the Colt .45s' first game in 1962, press passes for the Rockets' first season and the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis extravaganza and photos with Nolan Ryan, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ted Williams and Stan Musial, among others. As a native of Houston, he said in 2013 that he struggled to balance his feelings as a fan with his obligations as a reporter. "I think I was honest," he said. "I had to walk that fine line of having to criticize my hometown team when I had to but still be for them. I'd still be rooting for them. "I may have gone over the line with criticism sometime. I may have been trying too hard to be Howard Cosell. But I think I told it like it was." "He had such boyish enthusiasm," said CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz, who met Allen during his student days at the University of Houston. "He was like Dick Clark. I thought if I popped out of a time capsule 50 years from now, he'd still be doing sportscasts with the same enthusiasm." 'He was the real deal' As his health failed, among his final visitors were friends and co-workers, including former Channel 13 sports reporter Tim Melton and longtime sports radio anchor Barry Warner. "I loved working with him," Melton said. "I respected him and considered him more than a friend, like a brother, and I am going to miss him a great deal. "He was the best-known and most-admired sportscaster in town, but there was more. He didn't just lend his name to Sunshine Kids and Special Olympics. He put himself into both organizations." He also encouraged athletes, including Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, to join him in the charity that assists children and teens with cancer. "He was the real deal when it came to the Sunshine Kids," Biggio said. "They were part of his family, and vice versa." G.W. Bailey, the foundation's executive director, added, "It was his friendship and passion to give kids a little of their childhood back that moved us all so deeply. … We have lost a giant." Bob is survived by his daughter, Genna Fincher and her husband Brent; grandchildren, Mason and Hayden; brother, Ken Egalnick and his wife Debbie; niece, Kristin Egalnick; nephew, Kenny Egalnick; and great-nephew, Kane Hutchison. Family, friends, colleagues and loved ones are to gather for a private memorial service and celebration of his life led by Rev. William A. Lawson, founding pastor and current pastor emeritus of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston. In lieu of customary remembrances and for those desiring, his family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in his name be directed to the Sunshine Kids, 2814 Virginia St., Houston, TX, 77098.

REMEMBERING

Bob Allen

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SHERRY SMITH

March 13, 2019

I MET BOB ALLEN IN PERSON BOB IS AWESOME SPORTSCASTER AND A WONDERFUL MAN BOB R I P IN HEAVEN AMEN❤❤❤! !!!

Debbie Palmer

November 3, 2017

Bob, you missed the Astros world series wins and we missed you. Such a wonderful part of my family life having you keep us informed of all the sports out there. Blessings to your family

Richard Sandoval & Family

November 3, 2017

Bob Allen as we sit here watching the parade celebration of the Astros. We cant help but think of you and how we wish you could be here to have seen this win. But we know that youre watching from above with everyone from heaven along with our father who loved the Astros. We won Bob. Go Astros

Glender Sublet

October 15, 2017

You will be missed Bob Allen.

Jerri Ervin

September 19, 2017

I still cannot believe he is no longer with us. We all miss you Bob.

james aman

August 29, 2017

I'll never forget when you and your cameraman pretended to interview me and my friends at a gas station, as we were heading to Astroworld, one summer in the late 1970's. You made us feel like superstars. You took the time to create an indelible memory in the minds of a few preteen kids and in doing so made us lifelong fans and admirers. That is who you always were. Caring and giving. I am sure you are creating many smiles where you are right now. God Bless you on your Journey.

Tammy Whitley-Hunter

August 23, 2017

Bob will of course be missed and will always be missed he touched so many lives and such a kind giving thoughtful way that's why he and Megan Stevens we're such a perfect match, I know Megan very big hearted kind giving loving person I know she is heartbroken over her loss as well as Bob's family it's just a shame a real sad shame, but at least he's not in pain and not hurting anymore.

Teresa Mead

November 5, 2016

Of course I first heard of Bob Allen through his days as a sportscaster for Houston. Many years later, my son was on a trip with the Sunshine Kids in New Orleans. On that trip, my son talked about meeting Bob Allen and how nice he was to all the kids. A couple of years after I lost my son, I was at the visitation of a friend's son. I looked over while standing in the line and recognized Mr.Allen..I approached him, explained who I was and told him how much my family appreciated him and all the enjoyment that he brought to the kids on that trip. I couldn't have spoken to a kinder man. After talking to my friend that lost her son, I was going to walk out of the funeral home. Mr.Allen came up to me, gave me a hug and told me again of how sorry he was for my loss. I will never in my life forget this. Bob Allen- Thank you for all your kindness and generosity to The Sunshine Kids.

November 5, 2016

Dear Jenna, like so many in our city, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of your wonderful father, but I am comforted to know that he was a Believer-it brings peace to all those who loved him and who also believe in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have a special memory that I've held dear to my heart for 30 years, and it's about your dad and you. My family had a grocery store on Kirby Drive from 1959-1990, it was called Jim Jamail & Sons, and I worked there, as did many family members. One day, I was in the little office where we answered the phones, and it was open to the people passing by. You and your dad walked by, I think I had met him once before in there, and I said hello, he introduced you, you were adorable, and after saying hello you said, "my dad's about to turn the big 4-0." Without missing a beat, Bob said, "and if you want to turn the big 1-0, you won't be telling people that." I laughed so hard, it was so funny and so quick! I could tell you knew he was kidding, but I guess he may have been a little sensitive about that milestone birthday, although he certainly had no reason to be. He always looked great, I'm sure a lot of men wished they could age as well as he did. I saw him here and there over the years, but the last time I saw him was at Harold Wiesenthal's funeral, and I walked over to him before it started and told him who I was, and that I just wanted to say hi. He was by himself and I will always remember that last meeting-I shook his hand when I said"it's good to see you again." I hope you remember the memory from our store, but if you don't, you have it now, and I know you will cherish it. I can see it and hear it like it was yesterday, and it an adorable exchange between father and daughter. I know you were 9 at the time, because my niece was born in 1976, the same year you were, and I know this because my sister and her husband were in the same LaMaz class as your dad and your mom, and my niece will be 40 on November 12. I saw the KHOU special and I know that picture of your dad at a table with a very pretty woman with her hair up was you. I looked at the features and even though I haven't seen you since you were 9, I could see your dad's features in your face. I knew it had to be you. God bless you and your family, it's lovely that you have two girls, and it's a wonderful blessing to have a father who leaves a legacy in the city he was born and raised in, and who is loved by so many, but what's most important is the love within the family, and your dad understood that. I'm glad that he had a special woman in his life and that he was happy. He deserved to be. Respectfully and most sincerely, Carol Jamail McAliley

J L

October 29, 2016

May the God of all comfort help your family to endure during this time of grief. I enjoyed watching BOB ALLEN give the sports.

FROM THE FAMILY