Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Curtis Allen: A heartfelt tribute to Granbury’s dedicated educator, coach, and songwriter

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The evening of May 31 was marked by a poignant moment at Granbury Live as musician Darren Brown performed the song "Let Me Be the Last," written by the late Curtis Allen. This heartfelt tribute took place during the Moe Bandy concert and served as a touching reminder of a man who dedicated his life to education, coaching, and songwriting.

Allen, who tragically passed away Feb. 11, 2022, due to COVID-19, had been undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate cancer, and showed promising progress. His sudden death came as a shock to the community, but events like this tribute allow us to come together and honor his memory.

Allen and his wife, Glenda, a retired typing, shorthand, and computer teacher at Granbury High School, met during their teenage years at Clifton and Meridian schools. Allen was a senior, and his future wife was a junior.

Their journey together began in those neighboring Texas towns and flourished in Granbury. The couple married and had two children: Brad Allen, of Haltom City, and Corey Allen, a teacher at Granbury Middle School. They are also grandparents to five grandchildren and great-grandparents to three.

Allen always planned to coach when he attended Tarleton State University and the University of North Texas for his college degrees. He played football at Clifton High School and later for Tarleton, when it was a two-year school with the Plowboys as mascot for the athletic teams.

In 1967, Allen moved to Granbury to become the head basketball coach, later coaching football and golf. He primarily taught world history in the classroom and was a beloved driver's education instructor from 1967 until 2015, impacting thousands of students. His tenure at Granbury High School spanned 35 years in the classroom and over 47 years in driver education.

Former students and colleagues fondly remember Allen for his infectious enthusiasm and his positive impact on their lives. His coaching career was marked by memorable achievements, including an undefeated JV football season and multiple state championship appearances with the girls golf team. Thrilling basketball games and working with standout athletes like Johnny Perkins highlighted his early coaching years.

Allen's creative talents extended far beyond the classroom and sports fields. After retiring in 1999, he pursued his passion for songwriting, creating over 200 songs despite not playing any instruments. His song "Let Me Be Your Last" won a songwriter contest in Bosque County and was performed by Brown at Granbury Live May 31. Brown and Allen had collaborated for many years, with Brown bringing Allen's musical ideas to life.

The Allen family has deep roots in the Granbury community and its members have been active in the First United Methodist Church and the Friendship Sunday School class, which has provided unwavering support over the years. About their years in Granbury, Mrs. Allen said, "It's like a great big family. We were here before the lake, before lake developments, before Pecan Plantation, before red lights, before (the U.S. Highway) 377 bypass … "

The Granbury community, including members of the First United Methodist Church and the Friendship Sunday School class, continues to celebrate Allen's life and contributions. His former colleagues, students and friends regularly gather to remember his impact on their lives. Brown's recent performance of "Let Me Be Your Last" at Granbury Live stands as a testament to Allen's legacy and the love the community has for him.