DIXON – William Wesley “Rick” Allen, 77, of Dixon, died Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at his home. He worked for Iron Workers Union Local 498 for 41 years before retiring in 1998.
Rick was born Oct. 30, 1936, in Dixon, the son of Kenneth J. and Dorothy Gladys (Hoyle) Allen. He married Ellen Cross on Aug. 24, 1956, in Sterling. In his younger years, Rick traveled the country, building underground intercontinental ballistic missile sites. He also built many of the steel buildings in the area during his time as an ironworker. Rick was passionate about experimental airplanes, and was in the process of building his own airplane. He was the emcee of the annual fly-in breakfast at the Whiteside County Airport, and attended the Oshkosh fly-in every year since 1982. In his later years, Rick greatly enjoyed traveling the U.S. with his wife in their motor home. Rick was passionate about John Deere tractors. He loved his grandchildren more than anything.
Survivors include his wife, Ellen Allen of Dixon; two sons, Andrew (Lauren) Allen of Leesburg, Ind., and Patrick (Wendy) Allen of Dixon; one brother, Kenneth James (Linda) Allen of Albany, Ore.; one sister, Barbara (Rodney) Randall of Naperville; eight grandchildren, Bryan Wesley Allen of Indianapolis, Julia Marie Allen and Emily Anne Allen, both of Leesburg, Jennifer Lynn (Dustin) Highland of Monticello, and Elizabeth Kathleen Allen, Jordan Michelle Ries, Shayne Patrick Allen, and Erin Rebecca Allen, all of Dixon; and two great-grandchildren, Madison Lou Highland and Avery Jo Highland, both of Monticello.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Michael William Allen; one brother, Robert Brian Allen; and one granddaughter, Natalie Ellen Allen.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m, with family present from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., Monday at Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Brant Clements, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Nachusa, officiating. Burial will be at Oak Knoll Memorial Park in Sterling.
A memorial has been established.
Visit www.prestonschillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.