Knowles Lee Allen
Knowles Lee Allen
Knowles Lee (Al) Allen came into our lives in 1964 when he married our mother, Helen Virginia Wible Haley.

Dad had three children of his own and in marrying our mother we became a family of eight. Robbi Haley was the oldest, next came Gary Allen, then Jim Haley, Michael Allen, Paul Haley and Debbie Allen - talk about the "Brady Bunch."

The folks lived in Garden Grove, Calif., - both working at North American Rockwell. Life was hectic and full of activity, so in an effort to slow the pace down a bit, the folks bought a place in Winnemucca in 1970.

Leaving behind the gaggle of kids, who were by that time able to fend for themselves, the folks moved to "the Allendale Ranch" in 1973. In order to live at their ranch they had to get the agricultural and domestic well dug and operational, then together they cleared the land (with a railroad tie hooked to their old tractor). Once the land was cleared and the wells were in, they raised cattle, horses, and chickens. Dad had to learn how to grow alfalfa in order to feed the livestock.

Being born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., Dad (and Mom) had to learn how to be ranchers, which did not come easily at first. Though dad had been an airplane mechanic in the Army during WWII, this was a whole new set of skills. But dad was determined and wanted so badly to be a cowboy that before moving permanently to Winnemucca he took horseback riding lessons in Long Beach. Wouldn't you know that the only class open at the time was with a group of 4th graders. Dad said he had to learn to ride well so as not to be embarrassed by falling off his horse in front of a bunch of kids. Now that's motivation!

Soon the Californians became Nevadans. They loved living in the wide open spaces, they had many friends, were active in the community (Dad was a member of the Lion's Club) and both Mom and Dad were, for decades, members of the First Baptist Church of Winnemucca.

In the 40-plus years of their marriage, Al and Helen's family grew to include lots of grandchildren and later great grandchildren - too many to list here. We are scattered all over the country, from West coast to East and even though life was good to Al and Helen there was tragedy along the way. Dad lost his two sons, (Michael and Gary) and they lost a grandson at age 4 to heart disease.

For more than two decades Mother suffered from lung and heart disease, passing from this life on Feb. 22, 2006 and our dad (after a tough year following heart valve replacement at the Veteran's Hospital in San Francisco) went to join her on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 29, 2013.

All of dad's living children were in Carson City at the time of his death and we step children then drove to Winnemucca to hold a memorial for dad at the ranch he so loved. Robbi, Jim (and his wife Janice and his daughter Julie, (along with her husband Sean), Paul and his daughter Leah, as well as longtime friend Debbie Burke gathered at the homestead to say their last goodbyes and to reflect on the life we shared with our dad. Our parents are now both gone, but the memories will forever remain.

We'll miss you dad - Robbi Savage, Jim and Janice Haley, Paul Haley and all of our children and grandchildren.