"It's another beautiful day in Lago Vista!"
  • 92 years old
  • Born on February 12, 1922 in Bay City, Michigan, United States.
  • Passed away on June 7, 2014 in Lago Vista, Texas, United States.

Memorial Service

Please join the family to celebrate Rusty's life and legacy!

Saturday, June 28

10am      Mass at St. Mary's Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 6100 Lohmans Ford Rd, Lago Vista, Texas.  Bagpipes provided by the APD Pipe & Drum Corps.

11am - 1pm    Reception and Tribute at church activity center.

2pm    Air Force Honor Guard and burial of ashes at the F4 Phantom Jet.  At the entrance to the Rusty Allen Airport, Bar K Ranch Road, Lago Vista, Texas.


Major Russell Lincoln Allen, Rusty (USAF retired) died at the age of  92 on June 7, 2014 at his Lago Vista home surrounded by his loving family.  He leaves behind a substantial personal and professional legacy and will be dearly missed by all.

Rusty was born in Bay City, Michigan on February 12, 1922 to parents Russell Alger Allen and Elemena LaCombe Allen.  Raised in this small midwestern town he spent his youth shoveling snow in the winter and swimming at Wenona and Petoskey Beaches in the summer .  He enjoyed watching his mother bake bread and building balsa wood airplanes and radios with his brother Ted.

In 1942 when WWII was declared,  he received orders for assignment at Albrook Field in Panama.  Just before departing for Panama, he married his high school sweetheart,  Frances Marie Jereau.   Leaving Panama in 1945 after being honorably discharged, he moved back to Bay City where he worked for the Michigan Beverage Commission distributing wholesale liquor. 

In 1947, he reenlisted in the Air Force where he worked as a recruiter at  Oscoda Field, MI.   After receiving a direct commission as a 2nd Lieutenant,  Rusty, his wife, son and daughter  were stationed in 1949 at Scott AFB in Illinois,  Frances E. Warren AFB  in Cheyenne Wyoming, and back to Scott AFB in 1950.

In 1951 he graduated from Communications Officer School.  He spent 1952 in Korea at Kimpo AFB and 1953 at the FEAF Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.  The family then returned to the USA to Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska.

After 3 years Rusty was sent to the Electronic Training Center of the Air Force at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss.  Four years later he would spend a year stationed at a remote radar site in Cape Romanzof, Alaska.  In 1964 the family was moved for the last time to Texas.  Rusty retired as a Major with 27 years of service at Headquarters Training Command  at Randolph  AFB in San Antonio in 1967.  Albums are full of the photographs he took at each base.

During his career he was recognized with numerous awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal x 2;  the Good Conduct Medal x 3, and service awards including the American Defense Medal for service in Korea.

In 1968 Rusty retired to Lago Vista, Texas where he could play golf anytime he had the desire to.  His home was on the 17th hole and the 18th tee. His excellent view of Lake Travis enticed him to take Fran sailing frequently.

From 1967-1983 he started a new career in real estate and designed several homes in Lago Vista. During this time, he was elected for two years to the City Council of Universal City, Tx a suburb of San Antonio.  He served on the Lago Vista City Council in Place 2 for one year.

Rusty was on the committee which originated the World of Resorts Committee (WORAC) and served as President for 2 years.  In 1977 , he was appointed by Bob Hontz, County Commissioner, to work on the committee for widening and straightening RR 1431.  He was elected to the Travis County M.U.D. Board in 1978; served as President for 2 years; was secretary for eight years; and was an elected member until the M.U.D. was taken over by the Lago Vista.

He was elected to the World of Resorts Country Club Board of Govenors in 1979 and served as President for three years.  He was in charge of the Fall Classic Golf Tournament for 13 years.

In January 1980 Rusty was appointed to the first Property Owner’s Association Board to help write the constitution and organize the association.  He was on the Steering Committee to rebuild the Bar-K Clubhouse after fire destroyed the original building.

Rusty was an active member of the Lake Travis Improvement Association and worked diligently to prevent the 100-year flood plan level from going to 732 feet MSL.  He was responsible for getting the Austin Yacht Club's Turnback Canyon Regatta to coincide with the Lago Vista Volunteer Fire Department’s BBQ on Memorial Day weekend and for obtaining a parcel of land from a property owner which was donated to the Fire Department for resale, resulting in $8,500 for the fire department.  He  also built the Community Bulletin Board located on Dawn Drive.

Starting in 1980, Rusty worked diligently for the Lago Vista Community Library.  He negotiated a donation of land from three property owners, complete with buyers, resulting in a cash donation of $20,000 to the library.  He also negotiated with NRC and the M.U.D. for donation of the present library building to the library, which  allowed further expansion.  He was elected the first President of Friends of the Library, which pleased wife Fran, an active library volunteer from its beginning.  He was a member of the Library Advisory Board since 2001.

Rusty was elected Mayor of Lago Vista and served three terms from 1991-1996.  He also gave  generous donations of time and resources to various social and political causes:  supporter of the Republican Party,  member of the  LV Airport Advisory Board, and board member of the Highland Lakes Group.  He also cooked for the Lion’s Club and Friends of the Library’s annual BBQ and chili dinners.

Rusty's favorite place to spend his free time was at his airplane hangar where he and his fellow retired air force buddies renewed their love of building large remote control airplanes and model airplanes.   This “hobby” evolved into the development of the Lago Vista Air Power Museum and Library in 1992.   Full of  models,  memorabilia, photographs and books from WWI to the present, it had over 5000 visitors from 19 foreign countries over the years.

Rusty loved to fly his Piper L4 Cub and the Stearman biplane.  He hosted many a Klagon where pilots from all over Texas flew into Lago Vista for food and fellowship on Saturday mornings.  He especially enjoyed visiting air shows all over the U.S.   He was inducted as a Colonel in The Aggie Wing of the Confederate Air Force.

In 1994  he was honored  by the city when they named the community airport after him.  He was unknowingly presiding over the City Council meeting where his fellow council members made a motion, seconded, approved and renamed the airport to the Rusty Allen Airport in less than a minute,  leaving him speechless (which was hard to do).  A reception followed with friends and family who were present and in hiding.   

In  2001, Rusty was asked to become a member of the Pedernales Electric Co-op Board and proudly served as a director until 2009.

On a more personal note, Rusty and Fran loved sailing and traveling through the south in their RV.  Sitting around a campfire at days end gave him great joy.  He loved to host parties where he kept people entertained with jokes and the fabulous meals he prepared (even the one where he forgot to turn on the oven…).  In 1993 Rusty and Fran celebrated 50 years of marriage surrounded by family at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. Sadly, two years later Fran perished in a car accident.

Instructed by his daughter to keep him dancing, Anna Teresia Roach did just that.  They were married two years later in 1997 and have shared a beautiful late-in-life love for each other.   Rusty became a Catholic and member of St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Lake Church in Lago Vista.  

It was with Anna Teresia's son, Joseph and wife Andrea,  that Rusty renewed his interest in deer hunting  and coastal fishing.   Three of his bucks are proudly mounted in his home.  Watching the Texas Aggies and Dallas Cowboys play football also filled his fall weekends. 

He especially enjoyed driving his dream car on hill country roads, the 50th edition maroon Corvette.  Driving it  in the annual Lago Vista July 4th parade,  he represented the "Longest Living Continuous Resident of Lago Vista".

Rusty was a wonderful dad and grandfather known affectionately as “Bushmouth” because of his mustache.  The eternal optimist he rarely had a bad day.  He would be heard whistling around the house as he went about his work.   A Texan by choice, his word and handshake were his honor and his beloved family was his passion.  He answered the phone daily with, “It’s a beautiful day in Lago Vista” even when it was not.  He loved to spend evenings on his patio overlooking the golf course, feeding the deer while listening to soft music as the sun set, drinking a glass of Crown and Sprite.   He should be remembered as having a big heart,  generous and giving.

Rusty’s final years were enriched by his growing family.  He is survived by his wife Anna Teresia; sister Sally Parmenter of Bay City, MI.; daughter Coni, her husband Alan Ellis, granddaughters Cindy and Teffa Johnson and husband Brad and great grandchildren Bentleigh, Jacob and Ethan; grandson Alan and wife Karen and great grandchildren, Samantha and Avery all of Houston, TX; daughter-in-law Peggy Allen and granddaughter Tara Katalinic and husband Mike and great grandsons Michael and Zackary; and granddaughter Amber Cook and husband Troy and great granddaughters Madison and Mallory of Mesa, AZ. ; step-son Joseph Roach and wife Andrea and grandchildren Colton and Anna of Lago Vista, TX; step-son Michael Roach and daughters June and Lucy of Austin, TX; and Patrick and wife Joanie and son Dylan, of Groton, MA.

Rusty was predeceased by his parents, his son Russell, brother Ted Allen, and sisters Pal Gaa, Marion Pasko,  and June Vallender.

The family is very grateful for the loving care given by his caregiver Donna Niklas and stepson Joseph.

It was Rusty’s wish that he be cremated and his ashes buried at the base of the F4 Phantom jet in front of the Rusty Allen Airport in Lago Vista, TX.  Many friends worked tirelessly to acquire and mount the F4 to honor Rusty and his son Russ, who perished in his Super Cub on Veteran's Day, 2004.   Their names are painted on its cockpit as pilot and co-pilot. 

A funeral Mass will be held Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 10am-11am at St. Mary’s Our Lady of the Lake Church in Lago Vista,  Father Don Loftin officiating.   A celebration of his life and reception will follow at the church PAC until 1pm.  Afterwards,  family and friends are invited to drive to the entrance of the Rusty Allen Airport where his ashes will be buried beneath the F4 Phantom at 2pm.

 (St. Mary's Church, 6100 Lohman Ford Road, Lago Vista, TX 78645.  Rusty Allen Airport, Bar K Ranch Road, Lago Vista, 78645).

Rusty and his family requested that in lieu of flowers,  donations be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project,  P.O. Box 75817, Topeka, Kansas 66675.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the families of:

Coni Allen Ellis at 15907 Aberdeen Trails Drive, Houston, TX 77095.

Peggy Allen at 5456 E. Enrose St.,  Mesa, AZ 85205

Joseph Roach at 17207 Whippoorwill Trail,  Lago Vista, TX 78645



Posted by Fabienne Desmaris on 7th June 2016
2 ans que tu es parti RUSTY tu es toujours présent dans mon coeur! j'espère que la-haut tu veille sur nous avec ANNA-Théresa.....
Posted by Julia Welch on 28th June 2014
"We toast our hardy comrades who have fallen from the skies, and were gently caught by God's own hands to be with him on high, to dwell among the soaring clouds they've known so well before, from victory roll to tail chase at heaven's very door. And as we fly among them, we're sure to hear their plea: Take care of my friend, watch your six, and do one more roll for me."
Posted by Fabienne Desmaris on 23rd June 2014
je garderai a jamais un très bon souvenir de rusty qui était pour moi un homme exceptionnel et généreux! merci a toutes la familles pour tout ces bons moments passé ensemble. je prie pour vous
Posted by Andrea Roach on 20th June 2014
Rusty led such a full life! He spent his last evenings at home on his back porch, cocktail in hand and Anna Teresia by his side, feeding his deer and watching the sun set over Lake Travis.
Posted by Dona Hunt on 20th June 2014
Rusty will always have a special place in my heart as the Dad of my oldest friend. The memories of teen parties on his boat, Christmas gatherings at his daughter's home and visits to Lago Vista are very special and will forever be among some of my most treasured moments. If we could all live lives filled with the accomplishments and successes Rusty had, I truly believe this world would be a better place. He worked hard, played hard and loved with his whole heart something we should all do! He will be truly missed.

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