By NICKIE CARTER, Community Writer
Well known locally as a World War II hero and a civic and religious leader in the area, Bill Allen is in the November spotlight because he celebrated his 94th birthday Sunday, Nov. 6.
Various “Happy Birthday’’ gatherings and greetings have honored “Ware’s favorite gentleman.’’ At one of them he was asked a question that prompted this reply:
“Would I serve my country again? Of course I would! Those were the happiest days of my life!’’
Allen is a retired U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel who served during World War II in the Pacific, fought at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima and made it to Japan (for the surrender). He was then stationed (after the war) in Germany and later in the United States.
He joined the Marine Corps at age 15 and retired after 20 years of service. He then became a businessman and later taught school at the college here in Waycross.
Allen is retired now and says his time is spent enjoying working in his gardens and worshiping at his church, Calvary Baptist.
He has spoken of his patriotic service to his country to many students at area schools and is honored to cut the cake each year during the United States Marine anniversary celebration in Waycross (an honor that falls to the eldest Marine at the banquet each November).
He celebrated the day of his birthday with friends at Okefenokee Golf and Country Club.
Allen is the proud father of three daughters Cathy Karsh, of Colorado, Trish Wooten, of St. Simons Island, and Barbara Bagley, of McDonough.
The attractive couple, Bill and Joan Ashley, are seen at many community events ranging from concerts to church functions.
She is a community volunteer, serving on the board for Magnolia House, the Artists’ Guild and at her church, First Presbyterian.