Samuel Thomas (Tom) Allen, III, arrived two months early on Friday the 13th, in April of 1923. He spent the first several months of life in a shoe box/grow light contraption. He survived this inauspicious start and thrived to the age of 96. He died at home on August 2, 2019, with his family nearby.
Tom was the only child of Samuel Thomas Allen, Jr. and Elizabeth Green Allen. He grew up on South Main in Sapulpa, but always spoke fondly of summer trips to visit aunts, uncles and cousins in Kentucky and Tennessee. He graduated from Sapulpa High School and then spent a year at Phillips Exeter Academy before enrolling at the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 1941.
When he arrived in Norman he joined the Naval ROTC and Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He left Norman in 1943 as a Lt. J.G. and served in the Pacific until the end of the war. Tom then returned to Norman and received a BA in history. After graduation he enrolled in OU's Law School, where he was a member of the law review. More importantly, he took time away from class to woo and become engaged to Nancy Yvonne Souter.
Immediately after graduation Tom and Yvonne were married in the home of her grandparents on June 16, 1950, outside Magnolia, Arkansas. Following their honeymoon they made their home in Sapulpa.
Tom began his legal career as an Assistant County Attorney serving under Clyde Patrick. After a few years he went into private practice briefly with C.J. Davenport. In 1957 he formed a partnership with David H. Loeffler, Jr., and remained in private practice for the rest of his career. Following an Oklahoma Supreme Court scandal in the early 1960s, Governor Bellman appointed Tom a Special Judge of the Supreme Court to help resolve the case backlog. In 1981 Chief Justice Pat Irwin named him a Special Judge of the Court of Appeals to again decide pending cases.
Throughout his adult life Tom was active in various civic organizations. In 1954 the Oklahoma Jaycees named him their Outstanding Young Man. He later served as President of the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce. He spent most of his life as a member of the Methodist Church, before he and Yvonne became members of the First Presbyterian Church in Sapulpa.
Tom was an active runner in the 1950s long before Nike, Frank Shorter and the running craze. He maintained a lifelong love-hate relationship with the game of golf. He was an avid reader and student of history. He loved to travel and was fortunate to visit many parts of the world.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his son, William Souter Allen. He is survived by Yvonne, his wife of 69 years; his son, Sam (Jan), and his daughter, Kate Reed (Al); grandchildren, Anna (Elliott), Helen (Andrew), Ferris, Mary Beth, Jody (Kelly); by five great grandchildren; and nieces, Susan Bussey and Beth Bussey.
A Memorial Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Sapulpa on Monday, August 12, 2019, at 11:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers please make any donation in memory of Tom to the charity of your choice.