Ed Allen is being remembered for his commitment to his country, his family and his customers.
The longtime owner of Allen’s Paint and Body Shop died July 29 at the age of 91.
Allen was a fixture in the community, having owned his auto shop for 64 years. The business was established in a building on South Main Street in Cleveland, near where Zaxby’s is today. In 1961, Allen opened the current location of Allen’s Paint and Body Shop on West Kytle Street.
His labors included towing and repairing wrecked vehicles, as well as working on antique cars. While crashes could happen at any time, Allen was a constant presence for those in need by answering wrecker calls and welcoming customers to his shop.
No matter the job, Allen’s focus was to do what’s best for his customers, says Bruce Allen, one of Ed Allen’s sons who now run the business.
“He couldn’t have stayed in business as long as he did if he didn’t treat people right,” he says.
Bruce Allen remembers learning about the business from his father as a youth, ultimately joining the family business.
“I’ve been here [shop] all my life,” he says. “I’d get off the school bus and head out and watch [my dad].”
Those lessons included working hard to provide for family. Though Ed Allen had stepped back from managing the shop, he was still stopping in almost every day, his son says.
Along with caring for his business, Ed Allen was also married for 70 years to his wife, Leona.
Allen served in the U.S. Air Force and was a Korean War veteran. In 2016, the American Legion Post 16 in Cleveland honored him for more than 50 years of continuous membership.
Funeral services were held Friday, July 31.
Judy Lovell of the White County Historical Society contributed to this report.