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Sgt. Allen J. Stewart, a devoted family man, courageous Marine, and beloved member of the Lanett community, passed away peacefully on August 27, 2023, in Alexander City, Alabama. Born on September 15, 1947, in Roanoke, Alabama, Allen lived a life marked by service, love, and a deep commitment to his family and country.
Allen was a patriotic and proud member of the United States Marine Corps, First Marine Division. From 1967 to 1972, he served with courage and distinction during the Vietnam War. He and his unit were assigned to defend Hill 55, located just southwest of Da Nang, Quảng Nam Province, Vietnam. This critical location, situated at the confluence of the Yen, Ai Nghia, and La Tho Rivers, was a United States Marine Corps base during the war. Allen and his brothers served with courage and bravery and were instrumental in allowing the Marines to continue operations against the Viet Cong.
Once a Marine, always a Marine. The following excerpt taken from a letter written in 1968 from his commanding officer awarding Sgt. Stewart with a Meritorious Mast for his courage and bravery during an attack on the air base reads as follows:
“Meritorious Mast - Private First-Class Allen J. Stewart is hereby awarded a Meritorious Mast for his exemplary performance of duty as the radio operator for the Southern Sector Defense Command during the rocket attack on the Danang Air Base on January 3, 1968. From the initial report of rockets being fired until the conclusion of his watch, Private First Class Stewart performed in a highly competent and efficient manner. Although activity around him was heavy and several people were talking to him in rapid succession, Stewart maintained a high degree of composure that is not normally possessed by men of equal rank and service. Even though many events were occurring almost simultaneously, and radio reports were being received one after the other, Stewart maintained an extremely accurate log. The accuracy of his log proved itself when information necessary for after action reports was taken in part from the log entries. He reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps through his outstanding performance of duty.”
Upon returning home, Allen began work with the Interstate Valley Communications Company as a technician. His analytical and technical skills served him well as he would analyze and troubleshoot technical issues. He later assisted Crew Pitts and others when they brought cable to the Greater Valley Area. Allen’s work ethic and dedication were admired by all who knew him.
Allen was a man of many interests. He loved short wave radio and was an avid fan of college football. In his younger years, he enjoyed water skiing and always had a deep love for the beach. He was also a devoted fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball.
Allen was a loving and devoted family man. He is survived by his children, Christina Leigh Duke (Joseph), Matthew Allen Stewart; his grandchildren, Ryan Joseph Duke, Taylin Matthew Stewart, Samuel Luke Stewart; and his brother, Jimmy Stewart (Johanne); several nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his devoted and loving wife, Sheila M. Stewart "Shug", parents, Allen Stewart and Jessie Bolan Stewart, and his siblings, Roy Gherson Stewart, Calvin Jack Stewart, and Betty S. Morris.
In the words of Winston Churchill, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Allen embodied this spirit of courage in every aspect of his life. He was not only a brave Marine but also a loving father, a loyal friend, and a respected member of his community. His courage, love, and analytical mind will be remembered by all who knew him.
Allen's life was a testament to the power of love, courage, and dedication. His legacy will live on in the hearts of his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. He will be deeply missed.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 31, 2023 at 11:00A.M. EDT at the Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home in Valley with interment and military honors following at Hillcrest Cemetery. The Reverend Rusty Letson officiating. Sgt. Stewart’s family will be receiving friends at the funeral home Thursday from 10:00A.M. EDT until 11:00A.M. EDT.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home directing.