James W. “Jim” Allen, 72, of Chicora, a well-known highly respected retired principal and coach, passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning, October 13, 2021, in the comfort of his home.
James was born in Elizabeth, Allegheny Co. on November 29, 1948. He was the son of the late Daniel E. and Helen R. Wiegel Allen.
He was a 1966 graduate of Elizabeth Forward High School and had earned a B.S. in physical education and health from Slippery Rock University as well as his Master’s Degree in recreation. He later earned a Master’s Degree in administration and his principal certification from Westminster College.
Jim was a member of the Karns City United Methodist Church, The Butler Hunting, and Fishing Club, and was involved administratively and in coaching with the Karns City UAA for many years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, kayaking, and being outdoors. Jim had a distinguished coaching resume, having coached girls softball, where he coached and traveled to tournaments with his granddaughter, Kate. He had also coached football, swimming, and baseball. Mr. Allen spent 40 years as an educator. He began his teaching and coaching career at Baldwin Whitehall School District. He continued his teaching career in 1975 with the Butler Area School District teaching health and physical education and later was promoted to assistant principal at the intermediate high school and served the district as principal of the junior high school from 1982 until his retirement in 2010. He was a proud founder of the Starfish Program. Mr. Allen was well respected among the district’s staff, students, and parents.
He is survived by his wife, Cynthia S. McElroy Allen, whom he married at the Karns City United Methodist Church on June 19, 1971. The couple had most recently celebrated their 50th anniversary. Also surviving is a daughter, Amber N. Thorpe and her husband, Justin, of Chicora; a son, Matthew J. Allen, and his wife, Sara Makin Allen of Mars; Jim was affectionately “Grandpa” to two grandchildren who were his pride and joy, Kathryn E. “Kate” Allen and Audrey V. Thorpe, both of Chicora; his brother, Robert “Bob” Allen of Elizabeth; his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Linda and Daniel DeCola of Chicora, Rebecca and Ralph Maffei of Butler, and Robert and Tammy McElroy of Chicora, as well as a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Robert A. and Margaret L. McElroy.
Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home of Chicora, 339 Chicora Fenelton Rd., Chicora, from Noon – 2 and 5 – 8 p.m. Friday. A funeral service will be held from the funeral home at 11:00 a.m. Saturday with the Rev. Jim Lewis, pastor of the Karns City United Methodist Church, officiating. Interment will be in Bear Creek Cemetery, Petrolia.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Karns City United Methodist Church, PO Box 89, Karns City, PA 16041. or UAA, PO Box 261, Chicora, PA 16025.
Condolences may be sent by visiting www.hilefh.com.