Ge­orge ‘Bill’ Allen, co-founder of The Old Red Store fur­ni­ture, dies

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - LOCAL PERSPECTIVES - BY ELLEN ROBERT­SON er­obert­son@times­dis­ (804) 649-6115

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.

Mr. Allen

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