George ‘Bill’ Allen, co-founder of The Old Red Store furniture, dies
Bill Allen and his wife, Doris, started a retail furniture store they eventually called The Old Red Store in their Glen Allen living room in 1971.
Their thought was to offer quality furniture at bargain prices with little overhead.
They moved the business into an old general store at the corner of Mountain Road and Old Washington Highway in Glen Allen.
From there, it moved, in 1978, to Aylett, where Mr. Allen continued in the business until he retired in 2013.
The 70-year furniture business veteran died Monday at age 88.
A funeral will be at
1 p.m. Thursday, today, at B.W. White Funeral Home in Aylett. A burial service will follow at Providence United Methodist Church, 3844 Poor House Lane in Bruington.
George William Allen was born Nov. 27, 1929, in Rutherford County, N.C., where he grew up with his sisters, Madge and Frances, and brother, Dan.
He began working in his father’s furniture store in Spindale, N.C., in 1941. After graduating from high school and serving in the Army for two years during World War II, he returned home to help with the daily operation of his father’s business.
Later moving to Richmond, he worked at retail furniture businesses including Havertys, Sydnor and Hundley as well as Rountree’s before going out on his own.
For more than 40 years, he sold good furniture at great prices out of a red barn that was cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
Mr. Allen was a lifetime member of the American Legion and of Western Star Lodge in Rutherford.
From June to December 2000, he had a brush with politics after being named to the King and Queen County Board of Supervisors to fill an unfinished term.
When he wasn’t selling furniture, he could be found fishing with his daughter, Rena Allen, or flying with his son, Mark B. Allen.
In addition to his children, survivors include his wife, Doris Tomlinson Allen; two sisters, Lois Yelton of Naples, Fla., and Joyce Guffey of Florence, S.C.; and a brother, Dan Allen, also of Florence.