Kilgore was home for Ted Allen for many years, and held a special place in his heart.
And for Kilgore, Allen has a special place in the heart of this community, as well.
Allen passed on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the age of 91, just before his 92nd birthday. And few have chronicled Kilgore-area sports better.
For 14 years, Ted Allen was the Kilgore News Herald’s sports editor, a very detailed gentleman who tried to present, as best he could, what happened on the field and off, especially when it came to Kilgore High School and Kilgore College sports.
His daughter, Suzanne Tuttle, said that even after Allen left the City of Stars for a 32-year stint at the Dallas Morning News, Kilgore was still a special part of his life – he met and married the love of his life, Joan Dalrymple, here at the News Herald, and the two never put Kilgore in the rear-view mirror.
“For a long time,” she said, “they would come back to Kilgore to go the dentist, and to the doctor. They stayed really tied to Kilgore, especially as they could do things with their friends. And of course, family was here, my grandparents were still here. We moved from Kilgore when I was nine. I remember a lot about Kilgore growing up. We would frequently visit.”
Allen grew up in Gustine, near Comanche, Allen served his country in the U.S. Army and then became a student at Texas Christian University. His very first job out of TCU was the sports editor’s position here in Kilgore, in the early 1950’s. Ted came at an exciting time for a lot of sports: Kilgore College football and basketball were winning championships, and Kilgore High School football won its first-ever district championship in 1953. Names like Buddy Humphrey and Bob Bustin were a big part of the Kilgore sports scene.
Allen was a successful sportswriter for many reasons, chief among them the people, not just the score, or the numbers. “He was so consummately detail-oriented,” his daughter explained. “But he was interested not just in stats, but in the athletes, in the people.”
As mentioned, at the News Herald, he met Joan Dalrymple, his future wife. Ms. Dalrymple did classifieds here at the newspaper, and they would marry in 1954 – and have 61 years together before her passing in 2015.
It was destiny for the two to meet and fall in love, Suzanne explained, not just for romantic reasons, but for sports, of course, with a wink.
“He and my mom had a natural connection, anyway,” she said. “My grandfather, Jimmy Dalrymple, was the manager of the Kilgore Boomers. He played professional baseball too, I believe for the Chicago White Sox farm team.”
Eventually, Ted and Joan moved their family from Kilgore to Duncanville, where he would live out his life, and he became a layout specialist for the Dallas Morning News, and also kept his sports writing sharp by writing for the Suburban, covering high school sports (what else?).
Ted retired in 1998, although he kept busy with personal hobbies. He still loved to watch sports. And if the paper didn’t have sports, as things have happened during the COVID-19 cancellations?
“Oh, he wouldn’t read it,” Suzanne said. “If there was no sports pages, he just wouldn’t read it.”
Allen will be cremated and his ashes interred here at Kilgore City Cemetery with his wife.
Of course, his family will miss Allen, but they have many fond memories, and were somewhat aware of Allen’s iconic status in Kilgore as Mr. Information.
“He was just a really wonderful person,” Suzanne said. “He was not a complainer. You had to drag any complaints out of him. He was very good-natured and took what come along. The only time I really remember seeing him mad was if someone interrupted one of his games, or if his teams weren’t doing well, the Mavericks, the Cowboys and the Rangers. He was just such a kind, good-natured person. He was just a really great dad.”
The family asks that tributes in Allen’s name be made to the American Heart Association.