William Marion Allen, Jr. MD, 79, of Kerrville, Texas, passed away May 9, 2023. He was born to William Marion Allen and Mary Elizabeth (Betty) McKean on September 21, 1943, in Houston, Texas.
He was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, known as Billy and later Bill. He spent his early years fishing, sailing, surfing, and playing in Corpus Christi Bay. He spent this time with his younger brother Charles. The duo appeared from the outside to have legendary fights with one another. However, they were fiercely loyal to each other and would unite against adversaries.
His maternal grandfather, the Rev. Charles R. McKean, pastored a church in Mexico City. Bill spent many summers there, which stimulated a love for foreign languages. He had an affinity for languages and took pride in deconstructing a foreign word to find its meaning. Throughout his life, this linguistic capability allowed him to reach and serve a broader group in the community.
After graduating from W.B. Ray High School, Bill attended Del Mar Junior College and later transferred to the University of Texas to complete his BS and MS degrees. He spent summers working in the oil fields of West Texas and in the cafeteria at the university to make his way through college. He met Baylor student Frances ”Francie” Wood on a blind date set up by friends (truly a blind date as she didn’t have her glasses), beginning a friendship that lasted the rest of his life.
He enjoyed fixing things, if it was broken, he was going to figure out how to fix it and try to make it better. Orthopaedic Surgery was never a job to him, it was who he was. He knew from the first surgery he conducted at the age of 8 on his teddy bear that he had found his calling. His desire was to help people, and Orthopaedics was a natural fit.
Bill was accepted into medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Medical School San Antonio. He married Frances, and the two started a family while Bill was in medical school. He is a Class of 1973 graduate who interned from 1973 to 1974 in surgery and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery from 1974-1978.
Dr. Allen moved his family to Kerrville, Texas, in 1978 to begin his medical practice. He worked long hours at the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital Emergency Room and spent countless hours on call. For many years, Dr. Allen was the only orthopedic surgeon in Kerrville. He later moved his practice to a pasture in Kerrville South on Hill Country Drive. The lonely building slowly attracted neighbors throughout the years. Eventually, the Peterson Regional Medical Center moved from downtown to its current location just a couple of blocks down the street. The barren field from the 1970s is now home to physicians and specialists of all types, bringing the highest quality healthcare available to the region’s residents.
He devoted his life to Kerrville. He served on numerous boards of directors in all parts of the community. Some were: the Arthritis Counsel of Kerrville, the Kerr County Soccer Association, the Community Joint Replacement Group, and the Sid Peterson Memorial Hospital. He served on the board and as medical director for the Kerrville and Kerr County Emergency Medical Services. He mentored, taught, and managed emergency first responders to provide the highest medical care to his friends and neighbors outside the hospital.
He was instrumental in bringing youth soccer to Kerr County youth. Dr. Allen and his wife Francie began coaching the Rattlers in 1981. While she focused on strategy and game planning, he focused on instruction and skill development. His drive to help everyone was reflected in a newspaper interview, he said, ”We have tried to maintain the philosophy that everyone plays. We have balanced coaching. We try to make it a fun time for the kids and parents too.” In the Fall of 1986, the Rattlers won the league championship in legendary fashion.
He would spend Friday nights in the fall riding the pine in the stands to support his children in the marching band and cheerleading. His children knew they could always count on looking up into the stands and knowing he was there supporting them. If there was an injury on the football field, you would see him jogging from the stands down to the field to care for the injured athlete.
Dr. Allen served as an assistant Scout Master where he could continue developing future generations. He spent many weekends on campouts and even took a troop to Philmont Scout Ranch for a 10-day outdoor adventure. He mentored his daughter’s girl scout troop to help them attain all their outdoor badges. He grew up sailing and passed that love of the water on to his children, but he really came into his own when he found horses. If there was a trail ride, he was probably on it and working as part of the medical support and/or the guides.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Frances (Wood) Allen, of Kerrville; son, Peyton Allen, and wife Debra, of Grapevine, Texas; daughter, Pamelyn Nennmann, and husband, Michael, of Haslet, Texas; daughter, Jessamyn Putnam, and husband Chris, of Spicewood, Texas; grandchildren, Kelly, Daniel, Avery, August, Liam, Connor, Anson; brother, Dr. Charles Allen, and wife Dawn, of Corpus Christi, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Grimes Funeral Chapels, with Dr. Chris Putnam leading a life reflection.