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Hillard H. Allen, 85, formerly of Cocoa Beach, Florida, died peacefully at his home in Due West, South Carolina surrounded by family and friends on Saturday, March 3, 2018. Born in Bartow, Florida to the late Justice William Paul and Anne Hurlbut Allen, Hillard was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Carolyn Griffith Allen.
An engineering graduate of the University of Florida, Hillard first served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He then went to work for the Vitro Corporation of America for a short time before deciding to fly his own plane to the jungles of British Guiana with his brother Burke to mine for diamonds and gold. While not finding fortune in the mines of South America, it was during his return from the expedition, that Hillard found employment with Pan American Airways. As a young engineer with their Cape Canaveral based Guided Missiles Range Division, he served first on a missile tracking ship out of Trinidad. Hillard’s 38–year career with the acclaimed airline would have him serving in many engineering and management roles, including ensuring tracking and telemetry support to the nation’s Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs as well as countless unmanned satellite launches and rocket flight tests. His management roles included serving for a time as Pan Am’s manager of the celebrated Cape Canaveral launch site, and manager of all downrange tracking and telemetry bases for the entire Atlantic Missile Launch Range before retiring with his wife to Due West, SC.
His legacy of kindness, for those whose lives have been touched by his faithful devotion to God and the example he portrayed daily, will be forever remembered. Hillard was a longtime and faithful member of both the First United Methodist Church of Cocoa Beach, Florida and following his retirement, the Due West Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Hillard dedicated his life to the loving care of his wife and family. He loved serving the greater Due West community, through his work with the streetscape beautification projects, the Due West ARP Church, the of Due West Lion’s Club and the Old 96 Model A Club.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his sister Anne Allen Gibson of Bartow, FL and brother W. Burke Allen of Falls Church, VA.
Hillard is survived by his son William Murray Allen and his wife, Jennie of Orlando, FL; daughter, Laura Allen Wittig and her husband, COL Robert Wittig of Ft. Bragg, NC; five grandchildren, Rachel and Joshua Wittig, Jacob Norman, Natalie and Caidin Allen; as well as, several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends 5:00PM – 7:00PM, Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Harris Funeral Home, Abbeville, South Carolina. Funeral services will be 2:00PM, Monday, March 5, 2018 in the Due West Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Calvin Draffin officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that you consider making a memorial contribution, in memory of Hillard, to either the Due West ARP Church, PO Box 397, Due West, SC 29639, Due West Lions Club, c/o Conway Shirley, Treasurer, PO Box 566, Due West, SC 29639 or The Hospice of the Piedmont, 408 W. Alexander Ave. Greenwood, SC 29646.
A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.harrisfuneral.com.
Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Abbeville, SC is assisting the Allen family.
Hospice Care of Piedmont
408 W. Alexander Ave., Greenwood SC 29646
Due West Lions Club
c/o Conway Shirley, Treasurer, PO Box 566, Due West SC 29639
Due West ARP Church
PO Box397, Due West SC 29639