Lester Joel Allen passed from this earthly life Thursday, July 17, 2014. One of eight children, he was born March 4, 1933 in Clarks, La., to Clyde and Thelma Allen.
He proudly served our country in the U.S. Army 1953-1955. After being discharged, Lester began his 37 years of employment with the MIssouri-Pacific Railroad (later Union Pacific) as a locomotive fireman, quickly being promoted to engineer. Because of his proficiency and ability to get along with others, he was asked to come into management as Road Foreman of Engines, and at the age of 29 accepted that position and moved to North Little Rock in 1962. He retired from Union Pacific in 1992, and was then asked to help start up Arkansas Midland, a shortline RR. He then retired from there as superintendent in 1995, but he never retired from reliving all those experiences with his many fellow RR employees.
Lester married Joan Martin on June 8, 1954. They celebrated their 60th Anniversary last month. They had a happy marriage, and were blessed with three daughters and two sons. With those children and Joan’s mother who lived with them, they took many vacations across the country, always driving a station wagon. After retirement in 1995, the first thing he and Joan did was drive to Alaska, traveling for six weeks and visiting several national parks along the way.
During his adventurous life, Lester also learned to fly and had his commercial pilot’s license. He loved flying his little Citabria and riding his motorcycle in Hare & Hound races.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Marie Randolph and Aliene Wilson, his twin brother, Leonard, and brothers Clyde, James, and Dorcy.
He is survived by his wife, Joan, his daughters, Janet Wood (Chuck), Lisa Evans, Rhonda Jacob (Paul), sons Kenneth and Mark, grandson Chief Warrant Officer Two Charles Wood III, granddaughters Jessica Trott (Mike), Jill Jones (Ryan), Chelsea Jacob, Lillie Jacob, and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Jimmie Allen (Judy) of Alexandria, La., and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Lester loved the Lord, his family, and friends. He will forever be in our hearts.
Funeral services were held Monday, July 21 at Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock.
A private burial will be at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.
Online obituary and guest registry at www.SmithFamilyCares.com