James Upton Allen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GRENADA — James Upton Allen died Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008, in Grenada, Miss., at 99 years of age.

He was born in Port Gibson on April 27, 1909, the son of L.B. Allen, a local planter and automobile dealer. He lived there practically all of his life, interrupted only by the years of World War II, when he was first employed by the U.S. Army as an instructor at Fort Lee, Va., and later served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific.

He is survived by his wife of 77 years, the former Julia Mae Lum, also of Port Gibson. Also surviving him are daughters, Mary Judith Bracken and husband Clyde Bracken of McKinney, Texas, and Nancy Allen Smith of Grenada. He is survived by grandchildren, Patricia Bracken Manson, Catherine Bracken Bell, James Kent Bracken, Douglas Bracken and Leigh Smith Allen, all of Dallas, Texas, and Allen Bennett Smith of Grenada; five great-grandchildren; devoted nephews, Leigh B. Allen III of Jackson, Briscoe Allen Bryan of Galveston, Texas, and Douglas Lum of Port Gibson; and niece, Margaret Allen Palmer of Nashville Tenn.

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Jimmy Allen was born to a life of service to Port Gibson and gave his life to that community. He followed his father into the automobile business, served on the Board of Alderman of the town, founded Boy Scout Troop 100 and served as its Scoutmaster for many years. Scouting was always dear to his heart, and his service resulted in the Silver Beaver Award, scouting’s highest honor. He was always active in the Port Gibson United Methodist Church and in the local Lions Club. He was a charter member of First Families of Mississippi. He was a graduate of Chamberlain-Hunt Academy in Port Gibson and was a lifelong supporter of that institution.

James Upton Allen led a varied and active life, as well as a life of duty. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunting duck and deer. During his retirement years, he and his wife loved to travel and were enthusiastic members of the Airstream Club of America and the Mississippi Travel Club.

Services will be Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. at Garner-Harper Funeral Home in Grenada and Thursday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. at Port Gibson United Methodist Church.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to both services. Burial will follow at Wintergreen Cemetery in Port Gibson.

Memorials should be made to the Boy Scouts of America or to Port Gibson United Methodist Church.

Garner-Harper Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.