Robert Ben Allen
Robert Ben Allen, age 80, of Little Rock, died Tuesday, June 21, 2005. He served as State Senator, 1966-91, and a member of The House of Representatives, 1959-65. He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of the late George Mason and Josephine Myers Allen. Ben attended Perryville Schools and graduated from Little Rock High School, later graduating from Little Rock Junior College and the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville. After serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Ben began his career as an attorney from 1951-69 with Mehaffey, Smith and Williams, which evolved into the Friday, Eldridge and Clark Law Firm. He was also a partner in the National Holding Company that owned and operated approximately fifty businesses throughout the United States, including nine businesses in Little Rock, North Little Rock, as well as, four in the Memphis area. Ben was also the original Chairman and member of the board of Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock, member of the board of First National Bank, Leslie State Bank, Citizens Bank of Marshall, and Dardanelle Bank. He was a member of the Executive Committee of First Commercial Corporation. While a member of the State House of Representatives he authored the Freedom of Information Act, Governmental Reorganization Act, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Creation Act, and the Creation of Pinnacle Mountain State Park. As State Senator his committee assignments included being Chairman of Revenue and Taxation, Member of the Insurance and Commerce Commission, the Rules Committee, Efficiency Committee, Joint Budget Committee, and served as President Pro Tempore for two years. He was also appointed Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, and Assistant Attorney General, and served as a member and chairman of the Arkansas Ethics Commission from 1998-2002. Ben loved playing tennis, golf, scuba diving and was an avid bridge player.
Ben is survived by his wife Eloise Kreth Allen of Little Rock, sons Ben Allen, Jr., of Little Rock, David Kreth Allen and partner Scott Coenen of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Douglas Hamilton Allen and wife Julie of Northbrook, Illinois, and 5 grandchildren, Ben Allen, III, Caroline Allen, Mason Allen, Riley Allen and Philippa Allen.
There will be a visitation Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ruebel Funeral Home followed Friday with a memorial service at 11a.m. at First United Methodist Church officiated by Reverend, Dr. Michael Mattox. Burial of ashes will follow at the church columbarium. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 723 Center Street, Little Rock 72201, or the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, 4301 West Markham Street, Little Rock 72205.