Rest In peace, Hoyt “Al” Allen, former Sergeant Major in the US Army.
Al died on May 7, 2022, at age 91 in Cornerstone Hospice in The Villages. Born in rural Georgia in 1931, he lied about his age to enlist in the Army at age fifteen, having only finished second grade before going to work to help support his family. He was a paratrooper in the 101st, the 82nd, and the 187th Airborne Divisions.
Al was wounded multiple times. His cause of death was connected to having been directly exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Al’s valor in combat was honored again and again; the metals he was proudest of included the Silver Star, four Bronze Metals, three Purple Hearts and two Air Metals.
Al taught courses at West Point and was awarded the Hibbs Award in 1970 for best instructor in the Armor School in Fort Knox. He became one of the Army’s top NCO’s and served with many distinguished generals. He retired after thirty years of service.
Al was the father of seven daughters-Theresa McCoy, Jackie Peters, Mary Broderick, Shari Allen, Cathy Allen, JoAnn Miller, and Sandi Lee Allen; and three stepchildren-Laura Birdsall, William Freeman and Lisa Freeman. He had nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Al was quite a guy-smart and generous and seemingly indestructible. He was an avid golfer and loved playing on The Villages courses, especially with his good friend, Gil Lee. Although limited in activity in his last years, he was sharp in mind and a loving and supportive husband to Jane, his partner and wife since 2007. He often said that his last fifteen years with Jane were the happiest in his life. Rest in peace, Al. You were one of a kind. We will not forget you.