Lewis Allen, an Air Force veteran and career civil servant who raised money for college scholarships, died Jan. 23 of lung cancer, his family said. He was 78.
Mr. Allen enlisted at 17 and spent 21 years in the Air Force. Besides serving tours of duty in Europe and the Middle East, he participated in atomic weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean in 1958. He rose to the rank of technical sergeant before retiring at Mather Air Force Base in 1972.
He spent 17 years as a civilian program manager at McClellan Air Force Base and worked for four years at Sacramento International Airport. He went on to work for the state Franchise Tax Board and retired in 2002.
Mr. Allen volunteered with Planned Parenthood and the Suicide Prevention Hotline while earning a bachelor's degree in social work from California State University, Sacramento, in 1977. He was a founding member of the Omega Gents, a sports and social club that raised money for college scholarships.
Born Jan. 19, 1935, in Wiscoal, Ky., Mr. Allen moved with his family to Richmond, Va., in 1946. He was a star athlete in school and played football and softball on Air Force teams.
A Rancho Cordova resident, he had two children during a marriage to Iris Allen that ended in divorce. He coached youngsters in Little League baseball and youth football including his son, Jeffrey, a UC Davis graduate who played in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers.
Mr. Allen is survived by his partner, Joyce Farley of Rancho Cordova; children, Jeffrey of New Orleans, and Linda Brooks of Sacramento; and two grandchildren. A memorial service is set for Wednesday at East Lawn Mortuary, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento.
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