Allen E. Allard Jr., 55, Minot, died Wednesday, July 17, 2013, at Kindred Hospital Central Dakotas in Mandan.
Allen was born Sept. 18, 1957, to Linda (Lind) and Allen Allard, in Williston. He went to school in Trenton through the fourth grade. During his fifth grade he moved with his family to Epping, where he graduated from high school. He then went to UND-Williston, and later finished his education at Valley City State College. While growing up at the family ranch, Allen got his first pride and joy; his horse, Pinocchio, named by his Grandpa Allard. Allen loved riding his horse to herd cattle, and go camping with friends and cousins.
On Aug. 11, 1979, Allen was united in marriage with Deb Jablonsky in Belfield. Allen and Deb were blessed with one son, Denver, and three daughters, Randi, Heather, and Teal. Allen was so proud of his son, daughters, and grandchildren. Even though he was struggling with his health, he made a trip to Spearfish, S.D., to watch his grandson, Jace, play in a basketball tournament, and was thrilled when Jace's team ended up as the tournament champions. His son, Denver, was the coach.
In 1980, he started his teaching and coaching career at Epping High School, and remained there until 1986, when the school closed. Allen then continued his career in Litchville, where one of his coaching highlights was taking the Trojans to the 1991 State Basketball Tournament. He was a talented coach, where he claims was all because of Larry Overbo, his high school coach.
Allen's favorite pastimes were sports, where he started playing at an early age. He was a starter on the varsity basketball team as a sophomore, and he played Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball in Williston. He was so dedicated to baseball that he would ride to Williston with his Dad on the way to work, and sleep in the dugout at the baseball field until it was time for practice.
Then came amateur sports. There was nothing that had more priority than his weekend basketball and softball tournaments, even to the point of planning his wedding around his state softball tournament in Dickinson. Playing amateur sports allowed him to eventually play on the same team with all three of his brothers. Whether it be softball, basketball, or golf, Allen truly loved to play the game with his brothers. He also made so many great friends while playing sports throughout his career.
Allen was a beloved New York Yankees fan. One of his greatest thrills was going to see four Yankees games at the old Yankee stadium in New York City with his family. In his younger days he loved to argue with Grandpa Lind about his favorite team. One year Allen tried to convert his Dad into a Yankee fan by giving him two Yankee coffee mugs for Christmas, after Dad tried to get him to use a Minnesota Twins mug.
Allen is survived by: his wife, Deb, of 33 years; son, Denver (Benita) Allard, Minot; daughters, Randi Allard Parisien, Minot, Heather (Eric) Allard-Kotaska, Minot, and Teal Allard, Minot; mother and father, Linda and Allen Allard, Epping; brothers, Don (Mary) Allard, Minot, Bob (friend Kim) Allard, Fargo, and Ron (Stacey) Allard, Fargo; grandchildren, Jace, Mitchell, and Jaxson Allard, Kyah and Cade Parisien, and Cole and Maddox Kotaska; aunts and uncles, Dorothy Lynch, Williston, Vernon and Joanne Lind, Epping, Tom and Darlene Allard, Bainville, Mont., Sonny and Laura Swenson, Williston, Joyce and Keith Larson, Phoenix, and Ann Eastman, Denver; and several nieces and nephews.
Allen was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Mike and Agnes Allard; maternal grandparents, Rube and Josephine Lind; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Albert and Elaine Jablonsky; aunts, Mary Knutson and Ruby Petty; uncles, Donald Knutson, Glen Petty, Floyd Lynch and Pat Allard Sr.; a special great-uncle, Stace Long; and beloved cousin, Donna Helde.
Funeral Mass: Saturday, July 20, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Minot.
Visitation: Today, July 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Vigil prayer service: Today at 6 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).