Dr. LeRoy Allen died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 7, 2012. He was born in Raleigh, NC, on July 1, 1923, living on his family property, Roylan Wood, his entire life. Dr. Allen was predeceased by his parents, his daughter Linda Allen and his brother Rufus Allen. He is survived by his wife of over 60 years Gloria Eason Allen; his son Dr. Robert L. Allen and wife Celeste, of Raleigh; his daughter Sally Allen Watkins and husband Randy, of Matthews, NC; his grandchildren Nicole Dailey Bergemann and husband Matt, of Greensboro; Callie Allen Lowe and husband Matt, of Atlanta, GA; and Celeste Allen Chapman and husband Chris, of Baltimore, MD.
Dr. Allen was a nature lover and avid outdoorsman. As a student at Needham Broughton High School his nickname was "Trapper" because of his superb hunting skills. He graduated from Wake Forest College where his great intellectual talents and exceptional skills were developed at Shorty's poolroom. After graduating from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1947, he completed a surgical residency. He was a United States Naval officer in the Korean War. After the war, he completed his neurosurgical training under the famous Dr. Walter Crutchfield at the University of Virginia. During that period, a neurosurgical specialty was in its infancy, and many physicians doubted whether a neurosurgeon was necessary in Raleigh, since neurosurgeons were available at Duke and the University of the North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not to be deterred, he returned to his native Raleigh, determined to offer neurosurgery to this area. He practiced nearly 40 years, establishing Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic, which has continued his legacy of excellence. Dr. LeRoy was adored by his patients and greatly respected by his peers. He was a member of the NC Medical Society, the Wake County Medical Society, the Southern Neurosurgical Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Kiwanis Club, and was a Mason. In 1993, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor James Martin.
Carteret County, NC, was Dr. LeRoy's "second" home, where he was fondly known around the Anchorage Marina as "Doc" and "Captain." Captain LeRoy was renowned for his fishing and boating exploitations, and he especially loved marlin fishing. Twice he captured the Big Rock Marlin Tournament. The first time, in 1962, alone in the Gulf Stream on a 21 foot outboard he built in his garage, he caught a 487 pound blue marlin. Through the years his boats got bigger. Again, in his garage, he built from a raw hull a 41 foot Stapleton craft with a large tuna tower, rather than a traditional cabin. It was a mighty "wet" boat, but landed a lot of fish, including many a marlin. He also won the Big Rock in 1983, though this time on a 62 foot yacht built by Omie Tillet in Wanchese, NC.
Dr. LeRoy was a man of many skills. An expert machinist, wood-worker, fiberglasser, electrician and plumber, all contributed to his boat-building abilities. His practicality was evident in both his workshop at home and in the operating room. If a piece of surgical equipment were broken and considered beyond repair, the OR nurses would send the instrument home with him and he would inevitably make repairs and improvements.
Dr. Allen retired from neurosurgery in 1993, several months before his 70th birthday, so he could pursue fishing and boating on a more fulltime basis with his loyal mate Al Lathan and Captain Bill Christian. He fondly referred to retirement as "every day is a Saturday." His other hobby in recent years was using a game camera to photograph the wildlife in his backyard woods and his fox families were well fed on hotdogs and table scraps. A keen bird watcher, he loved and appreciated all aspects of God's creation.
Dr. Allen's funeral will be held at 2:00pm, on Sunday, March 11, 2012, at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends in Kerr Hall after the service.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
The family wishes to thank Dr. LeRoy's wonderful doctors, nurses and caretakers including Christine, Lekita Essa, David and Mary.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St. Raleigh.