The Crusader Newspaper Group

Clemmons Allen, Jr. remembered

Crusader staff report

Family and former colleagues in Gary turned out Tuesday, September 12 to pay their final respects to Clemmons Allen, Jr., a former city councilman and firefighter who died September 7. Allen died days after announcing that he was going to Methodist Hospitals Southlake in Merrillville for a medical procedure. He was 75.

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WILL SMITH, president of the Retired Fire & Police Association, presents a plaque to Clem Allen, III and his daughter, L’Tanya Allen-Harris.

Allen was remembered at a funeral Tuesday at the Christ Baptist Church, 4700 E. 7th Avenue. The service capped six days of mourning for those who knew him.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said in a statement, “Clem was an excellent example of the meaning of community service. My prayers go out to Gary Fire Captain, Clem Allen, III and the Allen family.  I truly appreciate that your dad loved God, his family and the City of Gary.  I absolutely love him for that.”

Allen was born on July 9, 1942 to the late Clemmons J. Allen, Sr. and Mae Gladys Allen. He was married for 34 years to Dorothy J. Allen who died in 1994. He was also an employee of the Calumet Township Office and Lake County Sheriff’s Department. Clem was a member of Gary United Fire and Police Retired Association of Indiana Chapter 9.

Allen graduated from Roosevelt in 1961. He served as a firefighter before joining the police department in 1966. Allen fought for higher salaries and collective bargaining rights for police and firefighters.

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SOME OF THE retired policemen and firemen who attended funeral services for Clemmons Allen, Jr. are, l-r: Ray Turley, Reuben Roy (the oldest living Black police retiree), Altom Brumfield, Billy Moore, Tom Papadakis, Robert Harris, Alden Austin (retired fireman), Rufus Morgan and Robert Gant.

He was elected to an at-large seat on the city council in 1979. He retired from the Gary Police Department after clashing with Gary’s first Black mayor, Richard. G. Hatcher. Six years later Allen supported Thomas V. Barnes who defeated Hatcher in his reelection bid for mayor.

Allen was a board member of the Beatchre Strong Chapter of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc.

Allen has two children, L’Tanya Allen-Harris and Clemmons J. Allen III, presently captain of the Gary fire department.  He is survived by three granddaughters April Nicole and NaKayla Angel and Nico Baker; three grandsons Carl George of Portsmouth, VA and Walter Little III of Atlanta, GA and Najee Baker; four sisters Janelle of Los Angeles, Rilene of Chesapeake, VA, Linda of Las Vegas, NV and Sharon of Gary, IN; Clem had a special loving and supportive relationship with Ms. Freddie Harris of Gary, IN and two daughters-in-law, Carolyn Allen and Shenai Woodson-Allen and adopted sister Ma’Eva Adams. He retired from the City of Gary Police Department and Fire Department with 20 years of service. He was also a Gary City Councilman.

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