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John K. Allen

john allen

October 6, 1952 ~ January 16, 2023

Born in: Nashville, Tennessee
Resided in: San Antonio, Texas

John Kirby Allen entered this world in Nashville, Tennessee on October 6, 1952 to proud parents Lt. Col Paul L. Allen and Ida (Deda) Delores Kirby Allen and to a 2-year-old sister Cheryl Ann. Johnny was destined to make a mark in this world. He graduated from John Jay High School in San Antonio and attended the University of Northern Iowa. “Johnny” dedicated his life to being a voice for the voiceless. His life’s work has always been at the behest of others. He had a tremendously big heart and the only thing bigger than that was the fire burning within it. His work on numerous political campaigns and neighborhood organizing projects left an indelible mark on the cities of San Antonio, Chicago, Philadelphia, D.C. and Atlanta.  His efforts undeniably enriched the lives of countless citizens. But true to form, he humbly took a backseat to notoriety. Johnny has always been a colorful and integral part of our family as he was heavily focused on loving and caring for his family and friends.

John Allen was a unique figure. You could always catch him in a political debate, watching the Spurs or the Cowboys, relaxing at his favorite fishing hole or on the Texas coast. His favorite location there was Rockport. Most weekends he could be found cooking or barbecuing enjoying a “Johnny-Rita” on the backyard patio. He was a proud member of his beloved fraternity, Omega Psi Phi and was a founding member of his chapter at The University of Northern Iowa in 1976. Johnny was always talking to his many friends and was an incredibly proud member of the Allen and Kirby families, embracing all who were genetically associated.

He is survived by his closest family, sister Cheryl Allen Emerson, and a whole host of nieces and nephews whom he loved tremendously as if they were his own: Rana Emerson, Abram “Bomani” Emerson, Jr, Jamilah Golder, Jaedyn Emerson, Sean Emerson, Aminah Golder, Jerry Golder, III, Amaya Golder, and Anika Golder.

May John Kirby Allen, born October 6, 1952 and having departed January 16, 2023 forever rest in peace and may his legacy burn bright forever.


Order of Service

Processional:                                                                        Family and Friends

Welcome:                                                                              The Honorable Mario Salas
Former COSA Councilmember, Dist. 2

Musical Selection:                                                               “Winter In America” by Gil Scott-Heron

Poem:                                                                                     Jamilah Emerson
“Kinfolk” written by Patricia Telfair Dumas

Resolution:                                                                            James Howard
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Eulogy:                                                                                   Cheryl Emerson

Remembrances:                                                                    Tommy, T.C. Calvert, Sr.
Neighborhoods First Alliance

Tommy Calvert, Jr.
Bexar County Commissioner, Pct. 4

The Honorable Barbara Gervin-Hawkins
Texas State Representative, Dist. 120

The Honorable Mario Salas
Former COSA Councilmember, Dist. 2

Renee Watson, Community/ Protégé

Rana Emerson
Reading of a Memorial by Pamela Epps

Abram “Bomani” Emerson                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reading of Memorial by James Carlock

“Special Video Tribute”

Musical Tribute: John’s Favorite Songs

Recessional Family and Friends




Memorial Service: February 11, 2023 2:00 pm

Room: Chapel

MeadowLawn Funeral Home
5611 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX United States


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  1. My sincerest and heartfelt condolences. Continuing to pray for comfort and healing! 🙏🏽
    With much love,
    Cousin Patricia (Pitty Pat) ❤️

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