Another member of the Greatest Generation is gone. Willard O. “Bill” Allen passed suddenly but peacefully in March 2019 in Santa Barbara. He was born in Chicago in 1928.
Bill was survived by his wife, Dorothy, of 65 years; sister Priscilla Dial of Santa Rosa; stepdaughter Patricia Kerkis (Robert) of Thousand Oaks; daughter Lori Beth Isherwood (David) of Incline Village, Nevada; son, Mitchell K. Orr (Lori) of Lompoc; and six grandchildren. He is also remembered by many other nephews, nieces, stepchildren and relatives.
Bill is preceded in death by his stepson Timothy O’Brien; and parents Florence Allen and Willard Talcott Orr II.
Bill moved to Los Angeles in 1934 with his younger sister, mother and grandmother. He attended Principia Preparatory School in Missouri for his secondary education. He made lifelong friends there and continued seeing them in later years.
Bill was a theater arts major at UCLA, and performed with James Dean. He loved horses and cared for many horses near UCLA, including his own horse, Flash.
After college, Bill enlisted as an officer in the Army in 1952. Bill was stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he met his wife Dorothy Aschettino.
Bill, Dorothy and their family relocated to Reseda, California, in 1955. Bill joined a startup company named Colorvision and later worked for Twentieth Century Fox (Color by Deluxe) in North Hollywood for 25 years.
In 1981, Bill moved to Santa Barbara to work for Eli Luria Development. He retired in 1998 after heart bypass surgery. Consequently, he passed from heart failure at age 90.
Bill was extremely artistic with an eye for drawing and painting animals and people. He had an unusual sense of humor, and he loved to tell stories about his life in Los Angeles. “Wild Bill” as he called himself, loved his Dodgers and UCLA Bruins!