Dr. Jerry L. Allen Natchitoches, Louisiana

	Dr. Jerry L. Allen Natchitoches, Louisiana
June 30, 1936 - May 1, 2021

Dr. Jerry Lee Allen was born in Calvin, La., the 3rd child of Thomas Lee and Betty Mae (née Carpenter) Allen. Jerry arrived mere moments before his twin sister Joy Marie and to the delight of older brother Raymond.

Jerry spent his career as professor of microbiology at Northwestern State University, teaching and at times leading the department there from 1970 until his retirement in 2005. Dr. Allen was widely loved by his students, of whom he frequently spoke fondly. Jerry taught both advanced microbiology, immunology, and virology courses as well as introductory science courses. Any medical or nursing student at Northwestern during his tenure would have encountered Dr. Allen’s classes. Those students have gone on to research, patient care, and other influential roles across northwest Louisiana and around the globe.

Following a research fellowship at Rocky Mountain Laboratory / National Institutes of Health, Jerry gained a prestigious post-doctoral position at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he met the love of his life, Mary Maurer (née Oehlert). Jerry quickly became father to Mary’s daughters Mary and Nancy. The girls remember Jerry often treating them to chewing gum if they’d agree to play outside, and encouraging them to go to sleep early by promising they’d find pennies in their shoes when they awoke. As adults, the girls realized these were clever ruses to allow him to spend more time alone with Mary during their courtship.

Following their marriage in August 1970, the family was soon joined by the couple’s 3 younger children - Kathy, Jerry Lee II, and Becca. In addition to important life skills like how to make the perfect biscuit, what to name of all the fish in the fountain, and how to keep the worms off the tomatoes, Jerry was also the perfect example of love and leadership to all of his children – modeling for them how to care for and respect humans and animals alike.

During his career, Jerry was a prolific researcher, author, and speaker, being invited to speak on his work at conferences around the globe. Adventure followed wherever he went, whether it was the time his luggage was stolen on a trip to Mexico City or the time he lectured from Galileo’s podium at the University of Padua.

In addition to working at NSU, Jerry spent many years as the bacteriologist for Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.

Jerry was a veteran of the United States Army, having been drafted into service and serving as a cryptographer at posts in the US and post-war Korea.

Jerry received a Bachelor of Science from Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now University of Louisiana Lafayette), a Masters from Northwestern State University, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University. Jerry loved watching all types of sports and was an especially vocal cheerleader when his children or grandchildren were on the court or field.

Jerry’s time outside work was often spent outdoors - working in his vegetable garden, fishing, and the occasional hunting trip. Even in his later years, outdoor activities brought him great joy. He especially enjoyed long walks with family, searching for new plants for his yard, and discussing and photographing various flora and fauna.

Jerry was an avid animal lover, having at one time made plans to attend veterinary school. The family took in many pets through the years, and even animals Jerry encountered in public spaces were drawn to him. He always had treats and ear scratches and pats ready for the pets of his children and grandchildren.

Jerry is survived by twin sister Joy Freeman; his children - Mary Gallien, Nancy Rieckmann (Dirk), Kathy Fulton (Chuck), Jerry Allen (Anna), and Becca Allen; grandchildren - Justin Mitchell (Laci), Taylor Gallien Arredondo (Luis), Amanda Fulton, Alyssa Phan, Gunnar Allen, and Calvin Allen; great-grandchildren Jaxon Mitchell, Kellyn Mitchell, Ayden Beason, Kender Beason, Carson Arredondo, and Connor Arredondo; and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Jerry is preceded in death by his wife Mary, his parents Betty Mae and Thomas Lee Allen, his brother Raymond Allen, and an infant brother, C.A. Allen.

Jerry was a congregant at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Natchitoches.

Visitation and services will be at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield. Visitation will be Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 5 - 8 PM, and Thursday, May 6, noon – 2 PM. Services will be Thursday, May 6 at 2 PM, with interment to follow at Sanders Chapel Cemetery, Calvin.

The family wishes to acknowledge the exceptional care provided by staff at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, Willis Knighton Pierremont, and St. Joseph’s Hospice in Shreveport.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Natchitoches Humane Society, or the Northwestern State University Alumni Association (memo Dr. Jerry Allen).

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