After enduring months of illness and surrounded by his loving family, Irby Lee Allen, Sr (affectionately called by his family “Irby Lee”) was gently taken home and transplanted in God’s garden by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on May 6, 2021. Irby was born on August 17, 1947 in Alexandria, Louisiana to the late Charlie & Millie Bell Allen. Irby was the oldest of five and was baptized by the late Rev. G. C. Jacobs at the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church (Alexandria, La). He was educated by the Alexandria School system in Alexandria, Louisiana, and was a graduate of Peabody Magnet High School (Alexandria, La.). Following his graduation from Peabody, Irby enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and faithfully served his country including a tour of duty in Vietnam. Irby was honorably discharged from the Corps in 1972, and after his service, he was recruited and hired by the United States Postal Service and later relocated with his wife, Mary and his sisters Alice and Barbara to Washington, D.C. After over 30 years of service to the Federal Government, Irby retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2003.
Irby was united in marriage to his childhood sweetheart to whom he affectionately called “Sweet pea”, Mary L. Allen on August 29,1969 and in 2019 they celebrated 50 years marital bliss. To this union were born, Irby L. Allen, Jr and Margaret L. (Allen) Rose, and for over 30 years Irby and Mary raised their growing family in Washington D.C. then quickly moving to Oxon Run Drive in Prince George’s County, Maryland where they placed roots becoming fixtures in the neighborhood.
Early on in life Irby loved bowling, and bowled on the local circuit in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas along with his wife Mary for over ten years often traveling up and down the east coast in various tournaments. As a left-handed bowler, Irby made it into the 300 club several times, and was known by many in the area as “Radar” due to his bowling prowess. Another of his favorite hobbies is fishing. After completing a U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety course, he purchased a pontoon boat to enjoy boating and fishing. Often you could find him on his pontoon boat getting a line in the water and catching several species of fish in the area with his wife, Mary and his kids.
Not one to remain idle and after his retirement, Irby took up “new “hobbies. He became an avid golfer, and was a “huge” Tiger Woods fan. He later took up taking long walks (for his health) as well as bike riding. For the next twenty years after his retirement, Irby could be found either on the golf course, taking an afternoon walk or be seen riding his bike in the neighborhood where he lived with his wife, Mary.
Irby loved his family and was always supportive of their endeavors. He would routinely attend school and athletic events, and to those that knew Irby well, knew him as the quiet but calming presence. He was known to say that “lack of faith was the lack in belief that God could handle it…”
Irby was a faithful member of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church (Alexandria, LA) until he relocated with his wife, Mary to Washington, D.C. and joined Emmanuel Baptist Church. Following the loss of his wife, Irby sought the Lord for His guidance and on the profession of his faith later joined in membership with High Calling Ministries of Upper Marlboro, Maryland under the leadership of Pastor George Hawkins, Jr. Irby was thankful that after the passing of his wife that he was able to gain a “new” relationship with the Lord, and was able to continue in fellowship with his church family who continuously prayed for him. Irby loved spending time with family and would often take annual road trips to Alexandria, La with his wife (and sometimes his kids) to check in on family. He truly loved his family and was always willing to lend a hand.
Like his wife, for whom he had so much in common, Irby was considered a “die hard” Saints and “the Team formally known as the Redskins” fan. On Sunday’s, after Church, Irby and Mary could be found watching Sunday football. He loved watching his teams play.
Irby was a natural caretaker, always looking out for others, first starting with his wife and children as well as his extended family. For his grandchildren, he listened and provided advice on “life skills,” and he was known for making sure that his loved ones had what they needed whenever they needed. Because he loved helping others so much, Irby was known to help with delivering donations and other essential items to seasoned saints who were home-bound. Irby never wanted to be “publicly” acknowledged for what he loved doing, and he was truly a blessing to all who knew him.
Irby leaves to cherish his memory, his son, Irby L. Allen, Jr. (Ruth) of Manassas, Virginia, and his daughter, Margaret L. Rose (Rodney, Sr.) of Clinton, Maryland. Irby was abundantly blessed and proud to be the grandfather of 5 beautiful grandchildren, and was affectionately known as both “Granddaddy” and “PopPoP” to Rodney J. Rose, Jr., Madison L. Rose, Donovan C. Allen, Corey W. Allen and Cameron D. Allen.
Irby also leaves to cherish his memory his sisters Barbara Johnson of Washington, D.C; Alice Robinson (Milton) of Baltimore, Maryland, Kathleen Harrell (Geary) of Houston, Texas, and Doretha Hall of Trenton, MI, as well as his sisters in law, Katie M. Gilder of Long Beach, California; Clara M. Brooks of Alexandria, Louisiana, and his brother-in-law Jerry Smith of Los Angles, California and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family near and far as well as friends all of whom he dearly loved. Irby was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Mary L. Allen, and his late father, Charlie Allen, and his mother, the late Millie Bell Allen.
Family and friends of Irby Allen Sr. will gather on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 11:00AM at High Calling Ministries, 401-A prince George’s Blvd., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, 20774. Interment will be held at Cheltenham Cemetery on May 24.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.