Archive for June, 1998

 James Robert “Demps” Allen
(Feb. 2, 1931 – June 24, 1998)

James Robert “Demps” Allen, age 67, a retired school superintendent and former football coach, passed away Wednesday, June 24th, 1998, in Monroeville, Alabama, after a long battle with cancer.

Allen was a native of Vernon, Alabama, and resident of Monroeville, Alabama.

He served as a teacher and head coach at J.U. Blacksher High School in Uriah, Alabama, and Washington County High School in Chatom, Alabama.

He joined the staff of Monroe County High School in 1958 as a teacher and head coach and went on to coach five successive Pine Belt Conference championship football teams. In 1960, the undefeated MCHS football team was the Birmingham News 2-A Champion and Allen was named Alabama Class 2-A Football Coach of the Year by that newspaper. In 1962, he was selected to coach in the Alabama All-Star football game.

In 1966, Allen left coaching after becoming principal of MCHS, serving in that capacity until 1969, when he was appointed coordinator of federal funds for Monroe County. In April 1970, he accepted a position as supervisor of local accounting and food service with the state Department of Education in Montgomery.

He became superintendent of the Monroe County Board of Education in 1972 before being appointed president of Patrick Henry State Junior College in Monroeville in 1981. He retired in 1989.

Allen was a 1949 graduate of Lamar County High School in Vernon, Alabama. He attended Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi before serving two years in the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge from military service, he entered Livingston University on a football scholarship and received his bachelor of science degree in 1954.

He received his master of education degree in school administration from Auburn University. He also held an AA certificate in school administration and an educational specialist degree from Livingston University.

During his career, Allen held numerous elected professional offices, including serving as president of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the Alabama Secondary School Principals, the Alabama Association of Junior and Community College Presidents, and the Alabama Association of Junior and Community College Athletic Association. He was also the district representative of the Alabama Association of School Administrators.

He was inducted into the Alabama Left-Hander’s Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Livingston University Society of the Golden Key in 1982.  In 1984, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the university.  In addition, he was inducted into the Lamar County Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Allen served as board member and concert chairman of the Monroe County Community Concert Association; member and director of the Kiwanis Club International; member of the Monroeville Board of Adjustments; director of the United Way; and regional development chairman and board member for the Alabama affiliate of the American Heart Association.

He was Monroeville Citizen of the Year in 1988.

As a member of First Baptist Church of Monroeville, Allen served as a deacon, taught Sunday school and chaired several church committees.

Survivors include his wife, Betty Richardson Allen of Monroeville; 4 children, R. Joseph Allen of Athens, TN., Laura A. Buchanan of Hickory, N.C., Toni A. Stanton of Gulf Shores, AL., and Cynthia A. Marbury of Birmingham, AL.; 2 brothers, Henry Allen of Vernon and Ed Allen of Amory, MS.; and 10 grandchildren.

Services are set for 10 a.m. Friday, June 26th, 1998, at the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church of Monroeville, Alabama.  Interment will take place in Pineville Cemetery.

Johnson Funeral Home on Monroeville, AL., in charge of arrangements. 

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