URBANA — Milford Ray Allen, 95, died at home at 1:22 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 20, 2019), surrounded by family. He was reunited with his wife, Bee, and son, Larry.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at Renner-Wikoff Chapel in Urbana. The Rev. Gary Fairchild will officiate. Burial with military honors will take place at Patterson Cemetery in St. Joseph. A visitation will be held prior to the funeral from 10 to 11 a.m., at the funeral home.
Ray was born Aug. 7, 1924, in Gideon, Mo., to Mamie (Corey) and Finis Allen. He grew up in Missouri and Arkansas. He had to leave school after the eighth grade to work in the cotton fields to help support his family.
Ray joined the Army (555th AAA Battalion, Battery B) and was an anti-aircraft artillery gunner during WWII. He landed at Omaha Beach, and they were soon attached to the 104th Division (Timberwolves). They went north to Belgium and joined the 9th Army during the Battle of the Bulge. They crossed the Rhine River, and he was wounded by shrapnel. He refused to go back across the river to the hospital and served 195 consecutive days in front line combat. He re-upped after the war and was an MP. He was a life member of VFW Post 5520.
Ray married Bernita (Rodgers) Brennan on Dec. 24, 1948. They had one son, Larry, who died in 2000. Bee died in 2013.
Ray was also preceded in death by his siblings, Geraldine Sample, Elwood, Vern, Jim and Junior.
He is survived by his daughter-in-law, Darlene; grandsons, Brad (Tonya) and David (Susan); great-grandchildren Karli, Madeline and Logan; along with many nieces and nephews.
Ray was a brickmason for more than 50 years, and he was a lifetime member of BAC Local 17/8. He was able to live 60 years in the house he built. Ray’s niece, Pauline (Don) Schaudt, was like a daughter to him, and she took wonderful care of him after Bee died.
Ray and Bee joined Grace United Methodist Church, where he was baptized in 1985. He helped with the church’s sweet corn and popcorn sales, many renovation projects, and he enjoyed Wednesday morning breakfasts with the men’s group. He loved cooking at pancake breakfasts and making wood crafts for bazaars at the church.
Ray coached Little League baseball, and he and Bee rarely missed their grandchildren’s events. Ray loved taking trips to Branson with Bee. They also enjoyed attending Army reunions with the Five by Fives. He enjoyed Cardinals baseball and getting phone calls from his niece, Karon Rasmussen, during each live telecast. Ray took meticulous care of his cars and taught Brad and David how to change the oil and brakes on their cars, among many other life lessons. When he was not working, he was a sharp-dressed man. He enjoyed watching Westerns, but most of all, he cherished time with family.
Memorials may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association or First Gig Rock N Roll Camp for Kids.
Condolences may be offered at renner-wikoffchapel.com.