Madera HOF loses All-American center
Madera Tribune File Photo
Madera Athletic Hall of Famer Richard Allen, right, stands with his HOF presenter Jerry Desmond after getting inducted in 2014. Allen passed away last month after a short battle with cancer.
Inducted into the Madera Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, Richard Allen passed away on Dec. 19 after a short battle with cancer.
Allen earned All-American honors while playing center for the Coyotes in 1959.
“This is a real honor to be mentioned in the same breath with these athletes,” football player and wrestler Richard Allen said in his induction speech in 2014. “I was just a normal guy that worked hard.”
In addition, Allen played linebacker and hardly left the field.
“It was 55 years ago when I played so my memories are a little foggy,” laughed Allen in 2014, then, a 73-year-old spirited business owner of his Allen Bee Company in Madera, which provides pollination and honey for agricultural companies around the country. “It’s quite an honor to be inducted though.”
Allen served with the U.S. Army, including a year in Korea and ran Allen Bee Company for almost 40 years.
He is survived by his loving wife Janet, daughter Lori Ritter and husband Tom, son Rich and wife Lauri, grandchildren Brian Ritter and wife Brittany, Colin Ritter, Annie Allen, Sophie Allen and great-grandson Bjorn Ritter, sisters Hazel Shineman and Louise Melton as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Graveside services are today at 1 p.m. at Arbor Vitae Cemetery.
Remembrances can be made in his memory to Valley Children’s Hospital www.valleychildrens.org or California State Beekeepers Association Research Fund Attn: Brooke 1521 I Street Sacramento, CA 95814.
In 2014 in an interview with The Madera Tribune, Allen had some poignant memories from his days with the Coyotes.
“I remember the previous year from when I was a senior, we won about one game,” Allen said. “So we started off the next season and lost the first game. Then for our second game we had one of the toughest state teams, which was Modesto at the time. Boy, they were tough.”
Modesto needed two yards for a go-ahead touchdown and Allen led the defense for the stop.
“We held them on all four downs and then we ended up beating them,” Allen said. “It brought our team together and we won all the rest of our games. It was a great time.”
Allen also wrestled for the Coyotes and placed third in the Northern California State Championships. He earned a degree from Hartnell College in Salinas.
Allen was 79.