On May 5, 2022, Robert Corey Allen went to his heavenly home to spend eternity with his loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whom he served faithfully since his early twenties. Bob was born on January 11, 1929 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He lived all his childhood and teen years in the suburban community of Union, NJ where, despite the economic condition of those Great Depression years, his younger years were happy and fulfilling under the care of his loving parents, William and Margareth Allen, along with his brothers, William and Edward Allen. Then upon his marriage to Mary Jane Walker, he moved to Roselle, NJ and later to Berkeley Heights, NJ residing there for over 30 years.
Bob attended the Union Township school system from kindergarten until his graduation from Union High School in 1946. He then promptly joined the United States Army serving in the occupation forces in Korea at the end of World War II from 1946 until 1948. Upon his discharge, Bob returned to his hometown of Union, NJ. Shortly after his return to Union, Bob met his wife-to-be, Mary Jane Walker at a little white church around the corner from his home. Bob and Mary Jane were both baptized at the First Baptist Church of Union and were later united in marriage there on December 27, 1952. There, and at other churches in a variety of ministries, they faithfully served the Lord. Several months after their marriage, Bob felt the call to go into the teaching profession. He had graduated from Rider College in 1951 with a degree in journalism and then went into the insurance investigation profession. However, Bob, who always enjoyed working and being with children, decided to go back to college and Kean College where he received his Master’s Degree and teaching certification. Upon graduation, Bob happily taught and mentored sixth grade students at Battle Hill School and Central Six School for 38 years until his retirement in 1992. During the school vacation months, Bob also served in the Union Township Recreation Department as the Coordinator of Playgrounds for the system’s 25 playgrounds. He also thoroughly enjoyed teaching, mentoring, and engaging in a variety of different activities with the children. For his work with children, he was awarded with a lifetime membership to the New Jersey Parents and Teachers Association.
Although not a great athlete, Bob took great pleasure in competing in athletic events as a youth and as an adult. As the Union Township Coordinator of Playgrounds, he taught a variety of playground skills to children and youth, and at the same time competing with them in all the playground activities. During his tenure, the Union Township-Playground system always finished first in county competition against other Union County playground teams.
After his retirement Bob and Mary Jane moved to the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. There he embraced being part of the Haywood County Senior Games and for over 20 years engaged in more that 20 different competitions. In 1998 he was presented with the Haywood County Senior Games Male Athlete of the Year plaque for all of his participations.
In his late 60s, Bob took up the game of tennis and engaged in many happy hours competing in that sport. However, as he aged, Bob switched to playing pickleball which became his all-time favorite sport. Unfortunately, after several years of playing pickleball, Bob was forced to retire from his beloved sporting activities in his late 80s because of a heart condition.
Bob also took great pleasure in gardening and spent many happy hours puttering in his various gardens. He often referred to his property as "Allen’s Gardens and Animal Sanctuary".
Bob and Mary Jane were both active members of the First Baptist Church of Union, the Millington Baptist Church, the Evangel Baptist Church and the Hazelwood Baptist Church. Bob served his Lord in a variety of positions such as Sunday School Director, Vacation Bible School teacher, the Board of Deacons, church newsletter editor, and as a member of a vast number of church committees. He was also a member of the Gideon International distributing bibles. He served as a Captain in the Christian Service Brigade as well as volunteering in a variety of organizations such as the Haywood Memorial Hospital Hospice, as a tutor at the Hazelwood Elementary School, and at the Red Cross Blood Bank.
Bob was predeceased by his parents, William and Margareth Allen; brother, William Allen; and grandson, Jeff Allen. Surviving him are his beloved wife, Mary Jane Allen; and his beloved three sons, Stephen Allen, David Allen, and his wife, Denise, and Dana Allen, and his wife, Marie. Bob also leaves two grandchildren, William and Jennifer Allen; and his brother, Edward, and his wife, Linda.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Hazelwood Baptist Church with Reverend Tim Lolley officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 11:30 a.m. until service time at the church.
Any contributions to his memory may be made to the Hazelwood Baptist Church Ministries, 265 Hazelwood Avenue, Waynesville, NC 28786.
The care of Mr. Allen has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.