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Pet Friendly Assisted Living Resident: Ron Allen

Dana Larsen
By Dana LarsenMarch 1, 2012

One senior’s story of farming, public administration, government, family and life-long missions. Ron Allen is a great example of someone who has lived life to its fullest.

Brookdale Northwest Hills is a pet friendly community that welcomes furry friends as companions for their senior citizens. One of their residents, Ron Allen, came to their community with his dog, Dolly. Ron and Dolly are almost inseparable—a cute duo that brings smiles to those who live at the Austin assisted living community.

Learn more about this fascinating gentleman by reading his story below…

Assisted Living Resident, Ron Allen: An Impressive
Man with a Myriad of Professional Talents

Ron was born in Independence, Missouri on February 26, 1940. He has one older brother who now lives in Alton, Illinois. Most of his growing up years were spent on a farm where he and his brothers did a lot of  “farm work.”  He drove a tractor when he was ten years old, loved farming and still loves watching things grow. For several years he went to a one room country school.

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When Ron was thirteen he contracted Bulbar Polio. He had to stay out of school for a year and couldn’t help his father on the farm. So they could be near the doctor, and because Ron’s father was short handed, they moved back to Independence. Ron recalls his first day in a large junior high… He was quite embarrassed to be the only one there in bib overalls (and Ron made sure his farm-boy fashion faux pas never happened again!).

Ron had a great high school experience and still keeps in touch with his high school friends. After graduating from high school, he worked for a year for Bendix corporation—which at that time was manufacturing the hydrogen bomb. (Ron still loves Independence. If you give him a chance, he will tell you about being a neighbor of Harry Truman and a conversation he had with the President).

Ron decided he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life working on an assembly line, so the second year out of high school he enrolled at the University of Missouri. He put himself through college working over summers and during school, and graduated in 1962 with a degree in Public Administration.

Ron did not serve in the military because when the first draft came around he was in school and they were not taking students.  When the second draft came around, he was married—and they were not taking married men. When the third draft came he had a child, and they were not taking men with children.  His was a case of being at the right place at the right time.

Ron worked in Columbia, Missouri after he graduated in the budget office of the governor. When he heard about an opening in Texas (he had never been to Texas), he thought this might be  a great adventure. He brought his family to Texas and they really liked Austin. Ron worked in the budget office for Governor, John Connelly (he will also tell you stories about Gov. Connelly, if you let him!).

The family decided maybe they were too far away from their home, so they moved back to Springfield, Illinois where Ron worked in the State Mental Health Agency. After living there for five years they decided it was just too cold and they really missed Texas. So back they went in 1972!  At that time Ron worked for the Texas Youth Commission. He has also been employed by the  Sunset Commission and finally became Director of the State Veterinarian Licensing board. Ron retired from that position in 2006.

Ron’s wife and all of his boys live in Austin.  He has five grandchildren.

Ron and his companion, Dolly, moved into the Summit in June of 2011 and have been a pleasure to both the staff and the other residents.

Dana Larsen
Dana Larsen
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