He was one of ten children born to the late Wayne and Mallie Craft Allen on October 27, 1932, in Hueysville, in Floyd County. He served as Greenup County March of Dimes chairman for seven years; was honored as "Outstanding Alumnus of Maytown High School" (now Allen Central High School in Floyd County); was a well-known high school and collegiate basketball official in the OVC, SEC, and KIAC Conferences, 1960-1979; was a veteran of the US Navy, serving from 1952-56, during the Korean Conflict; and was a member of the Flatwoods Church of Christ.
He was a graduate of Maytown High School in Floyd County, BA, MA and Rank 1 degrees; Honorary Doctor's degree in public law, from Morehead State University; former Rowan County High School teacher and basketball coach; served as school principal in the Russell Independent School system from 1960-1994; past president and executive secretary of E.K.E.A.; member of the board of directors of Eastern Kentucky Education Association.
Served as state senator - 18 District - 1973-1991; Outstanding Freshman Legislator in 1974 by AFL-CIO; chosen Most Colorful Senator, 1976, 1978, 1980, and 1982 sessions by the Kentucky Press Corps; chosen one of the Men of the Sessions in 1984, by WAVE-TV, Louisville, Ky.; sponsored and successfully gained passage of nine educational reform bills in 1984 session; represented the state of Kentucky on the Commission of the States on education; appointed to the Task Force for Education by senate leadership, summer 1989; Task Force on Education Reform- Finance Committee, 1990-1998; chairman of the Senate Education Committee, 1976-1990; chairman site-based decision making council, Bellefonte school; member of the Prichard Committee Alliance; member of the Greenup County Housing Authority; was presently serving as a Greenup County Commissioner since 1999; was currently serving on the board of directors of the Ashland Alliance since 1999; and was inducted into the Russell High School Hall of Fame in 2004.
Surviving are his wife, Carol Lynne Rice Allen of Bellefonte; one son and daughter-in-law, Robert Brian "Bobby" and Kimberly Brooke Allen of Midland, KY; one granddaughter, Kynidee Vivian Starr Allen; three brothers: Volney Allen of Langley, KY, Harry Gordon Allen of Eastern, KY; and Maurice Allen of David, KY; one sister, Anna Lena Allen of Cincinnati, Ohio; five nieces, and six nephews.
He was preceded in death by four brothers: Thomas J. Allen, Kenneth Allen, Clarence Allen, and Alfred G. Allen; and one sister, Ione Amelia Allen.
Funeral services will be held, 2 p.m., Sunday, May 1, 2005, at the Flatwoods Church of Christ, with minister John M. Brown officiating.
Burial will be in the Bellefonte Memorial Gardens, under the direction of Carman Funeral Home, Flatwoods.
Visitation was held at the Flatwoods Church of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Allen's memory may be made to the Nelson R. Allen Scholarship Fund, C/O First & Peoples Bank, 1001 Diederich Blvd., Russell, KY 41169.