At daybreak on December 12, 2021, Dr. William “Bill” Henry Allen, Jr., 83, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family in Sedona, AZ. Bill was born June 15, 1938, in Clarksdale, MS to William H Allen, Sr. and Helen P Bledsoe Allen.
Bill graduated from Tupelo High School in 1958 and earned both a BA and MS from Ole Miss. Bill witnessed firsthand the integration process while at Ole Miss. This greatly impacted his views on racial issues and why he taught his children and grandchildren to look beyond physical features to the person within. He finished his PhD from Iowa State University in Agronomy in 1971. Later Bill earned his Registered Professional Geologist title in several states.
After graduating, he moved to Rolla, MO to work for the Missouri Geological Survey before returning to his beloved state of AZ. Over a 50-year career in AZ he lived in Tucson, Tempe, Cave Creek and Sedona. Being a hydrogeologist took him all over the state. He was recognized as a distinguished scientist and sought-after expert in his field. After working for the state in the mid 70’s, Bill started a consulting business. He also served as an advisor to the Cave Creek Planning and Zoning, Water District and was appointed to the Arizona Navigable Stream Adjudication Commission.
Bill’s faith was his rock. He was always active in the Presbyterian Church. He was involved with youth leadership, Bible Studies, church leadership, and bells, and mentored many young men throughout his lifetime. Mission was his passion, and his eyes would light up while discussing how to reach out and help others.
Bill met his beloved wife, Bunny, while in school at Vanderbilt University. They were married November 14, 1959, and just celebrated the 62nd anniversary.
Bill had many roles and titles, but his most cherished role was as a family man. He was pleased to spend his last day surrounded by the family chaos of 4 generations in a small space. He is predeceased by his parents and three of his children, Lori Frances Allen, Alyssa Allen Fielder and William Mark Allen (whose birthday was December 12th). He is survived by his wife, Sara (Bunny) Turner Allen; his daughters Sara Allen Johnson and Karen Leigh Allen; his 9 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren with the youngest grandchild born just hours after Bill’s passing.
Bill was a man of great honor, integrity and faith. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed. His Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 29th at 2 pm at Church of the Red Rocks at 54 Bowstring Dr. Sedona, AZ 86336. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made in Bill’s honor to Hope House of Sedona. www.hopehouseofsedona.org/
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