Sept. 24, 1925 - Oct. 9, 2017
A service with military honors to celebrate the life of Herbert "Herb" Ethan Allen, 92, was held at Sturdivant park in Coquille, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, along the river he swam with his brothers as a child. He was born in Coquille, Sep. 24, 1925, the second born son of Leonard Jesse and Laura Katherine (Cornwell) Allen. He passed away peacefully in his sleep, Oct. 9, 2017 in Coos Bay.
Herb grew up exploring the Coquille area with his three brothers, Louis, Ethan and Leonard Jr., developing a love of life, family and sense of adventure. He enjoyed playing basketball in his high school years and worked at a variety of odd jobs in his youth to help his family. He answered his country's call to arms by enlisting in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17, in April 1943. He proudly served onboard Navy vessels in the Pacific theater during many of the major sea battles of World War II.
After his honorable discharge, May 1946, he met the love of his life, Helen Ernestine Yates at a dance. It was "love at first sight" and they were united in marriage April 2, 1948. They resided in Coos Bay for the 69 years they shared together and raised a family.
Herb was extremely loving and proud of his four daughters; Joyce Aleksa of Gresham, Nancy Horner (Gary) of Coos Bay, Cynthia LeClerc of Coos Bay and Diane Nelson (Chuck) of North Bend, whom will all greatly miss his loving care. Herb is survived by his wife and forever love, "Ernie";his four daughters; his brother, Ethan of Salem; six grandsons, Jason Aleksa, Jake Horner, Brandon LeClerc, Cody LeClerc, Jesse LeClerc and Ben Nelson; five granddaughters, Jamie Christensen, Jana Lehn, Traci Howerton, Wendi VanDitto and Sara Nelson; as well as many loving great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two of his great grandsons.
Herb was employed by Georgia Pacific for most of his working years. He had many pastimes he enjoyed such as training his dogs, CB radio time, riding motorcycles with friends and competing in motor cross races, dancing, playing pool, Sunday cribbage games and going for walks. He loved the outdoors and engineered many picnic and camping trips with extended family, sharing lively campfire discussions, cribbage and horseshoe games, swimming and much laughter. He liked watching birds and spent many hours in his garage using his wood crafting skills to build birdhouses and share them with those he loved. An avid Oregon Duck fan, he believed that if things were not going well, he could bring the team luck by turning his hat around.
His sense of humor, strength of character and his love for his family will be greatly missed. In his honor hug a dog, smile at a loved one, tell a story, go outside, listen to the birds, swim in a river, share a game of cards, or dance the night away. Let the challenges you face strengthen you. Follow his lead and make the most of the life you have been given.
A special "thank you" to those at the Fresenius Center in Coos Bay, who gave such loving care to him throughout his 12 years of dialysis, it was greatly appreciated.