P.J. Allen, 85, of Kyle, died May 21, 2006 in San Marcos, the same town in which he was born on Oct. 17, 1920, when his father, George Allen was sheriff of Hays County. His father was later a Texas Ranger with Capt. Frank Hamer. A descendent and namesake of the first pioneer settler of the county, Phillip Jefferson Allen (who joined the fight to free Texas from Mexican rule
in 1835), P.J. lived for many years in the old family home in Kyle.
His parents loved to dance, and the children were taught to waltz as they learned to walk. All of the Allen children for generations grew up at the Camp Ben McCullough Reunion, and P.J. danced with the Confederate soldiers. In the Allen family, honesty, kindness and manners were of utmost importance. P.J. said his most valued possession was his friendship with his parents.
After graduation from San Marcos High School and Texas State University, majoring in Commercial Art and Drama, P.J. went to New York City and became a dancer at the Roxy Theater. He appeared in such shows as Something for the Boys, a Mike Todd production, with Ethel Merman and Joan Blondell.
When he moved back home to Texas, he began using the barn that previously had held the family”s milk cow and chickens and enlarged the facilities to accommodate his growing commercial art business. He did window décor and holiday decorations for such stores as Joskes. He worked for 50 years as a commercial artist, making many of the floats for the River Parade of San Antonio, the George Washington Celebration in Laredo, Buccaneer Days in Corpus Christi, Charro Days in Brownsville, Aqua Festival in Austin and many local small-town celebrations in Texas. During this time, he created themes and decorations for many weddings and debutante presentations. In his retirement, he enjoyed world travel, especially his trips to Russia.
Surviving P.J. are nieces and nephews: Les and Loraine Harrison of Martindale; Allen and Mildred Perry of Giddings; Kay Thurman of Austin; Gayle Grantham of Houston; and Suzy and David Sims of San Antonio, as well as and many great-nieces and great-great nieces and nephews. Also surviving is sister-in-law Ethylee Allen of San Antonio.
Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 26, at Pennington Funeral Home in San Marcos.
Honorary pallbearers are Bob Guerin, Kenny Lale, Les Harrison, David Harrison, Brock Thurman, Allen Perry, Rex Perry and Dr. George Perry.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Texas State College of Fine Arts and Communications, Attention: Laura Kistner, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of Pennington Funeral Home, 323 North Comanche Street, San Marcos, Texas 78666, (512) 353-4311.