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Theman Kelso Allen

April 3, 1927 ~ December 22, 2018 (age 91)

Theman Kelso Allen of Saco, known as Kel by friends and family, passed away Saturday, December 22, 2018 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice in Scarborough at the age of 91.  He was born April 3, 1927 in Pierce County, Georgia a son of John Henry Allen and Carrie Elizabeth Young Allen.  Kel was the fourth child of the ten children who survived to adulthood.  His family like many other families of the time in southern Georgia were migrant farm workers.  By the age of 18 he had lived in more than 20 different places in Bacon and Pierce County, Ga.  Because of his family’s lifestyle, attending school was challenging but he made the best of the education received and had many successes in his life. 

After WWII started, he tried to join the Navy but was sent home because he was deemed too young, too small and his vision did not meet standards.  Eventually, he was drafted and served with the 16th Infantry REG HQ CO in Germany as part of the occupational forces immediately following the end of the war in Europe.  After serving his country he went back home to Georgia to resume the life of a farmer.  Things had changed with him though.  After seeing that the world offered more than as he would say “following the butt of a mule pulling a plow” he knew that a change was needed.  Shortly after he turned 21, he moved to Maine following his brother Fred to where their brother Ted (Talmadge) was living in Biddeford.  A few years later a younger brother Juddy (Judson) followed and four Georgia boys raised families, worked and lived in Maine for the duration of their lives. Kel was the last survivor of the four brothers who moved to Maine.     

Kel met his future wife Bernadine Sylvester while playing baseball on Bradbury St. in Biddeford. He was immediately smitten by her and after a short courtship, they were married on May 30, 1951 at St. Mary's Church in Biddeford.  They were married for 63 years until she passed away in 2015.  She was the love of his life and they took great pride caring for the family home in Saco where they raised their six children.  In the later years of Bernadine’s life when she was not well, he was her caregiver and put his life on hold to make sure that all her needs were met.  They were a beautiful couple who loved their family deeply.  Now they are reunited again, together for the ages.

He is survived by one son Christopher Allen of Saco and his fiancé Patti Dyer, daughters Katherine Allen and her partner Kevin Birkemose of Lyman, Sandra Allen of Saco and her partner Jerry Chevallier, Peggy Bouffard and her partner Craig Grass of Dayton, Carrie Grenier and her husband Peter of Old Orchard Beach and Colleen Allen of Wells.  He has 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.  The only immediate family survivor is his brother Will Allen and his wife Uverla of Jacksonville, FL.  He is also survived by his sister in law Frances Allen of Old Orchard Beach who is the widow of his brother Ted.

Visiting hours will be 6 to 8 on Friday, December 28, 2018 at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm Street, Biddeford.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 29th at Most Holy Trinity Church in Saco. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Biddeford. For those who wish to contribute in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Sam L. Cohen Center, 30 Barra Rd., Biddeford, ME 04005.  To share condolences online please visit

Donations may be made to:

Sam L. Cohen Adult Day Center
30 Barra Road, Biddeford ME 04005

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