James Christopher Allen, 66, died peacefully at his home in the early morning of Wednesday, April 22, 2020. James was born December 13, 1953 in Joplin, Missouri, to Frederick and Dorothy Allen. James grew up in Columbia, Missouri, where he attended Hickman High School. Throughout his childhood he assisted his father with the management of the Allen family grocery store, the Zero House, located in downtown Columbia. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Army. James served as a military police officer from 1974-1977 and was stationed throughout Germany. After his service, he attended Southwest Missouri State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications in 1983.
James met his wife, Mary Lou, while working in security at the VA Hospital in Columbia, where Mary was a nurse. James and Mary were married on April 14, 1979 in Rothville, Missouri. After living in Springfield, Missouri, they settled in Kearney, Missouri, where they raised their three daughters. He worked for many years in retail, first as a representative for Herff Jones, then a furniture sales specialist for Dillards, and then as a store manager of Wherehouse Music in Kansas City, all of which allowed him to meet and converse with people of all walks of life.
James loved music and accrued a large collection of records and CDs throughout his life.He never missed a chance to attend a concert. He was a caregiver to all animals he encountered, especially cats. James loved to write, read, and spend time outdoors in his garden. History was his favorite subject to read about and discuss.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Timothy and Dorothy Allen of Columbia, Missouri.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Allen; children, Dr. Martha Allen-Keyuravong (Ned), Julia Allen, and Jessica Allen; grandchildren, Xander and Cora Keyuravong; and siblings, Susan Allen and Joseph Allen.
The family would like to especially acknowledge with gratitude the care and kindness of Dr. Singh and the staff at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, Dr. James Malaszewski, and the staff of Missouri Palliative & Hospice Care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to pancan.org or worldwildlife.org.
No visitation or funeral services at this time. Cremation with burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kearney, Missouri, at a later date.
Arrangements in care of Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Kearney, MO.