Thomas Hoke Allen ’51

Thomas Hoke Allen ’51 passed away peacefully at a local hospital in Birmingham, Ala., on Nov. 29 after complications from a stroke. He was surrounded by family and friends. Tom was born on Jan. 3, 1929, in Kernersville, N.C., to Walser Haddon Allen and Nannette Ramsaur Allen. Although losing sight in one eye as a child, he was not inhibited from his future medical pursuits. He attended Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, Va., and went on to Davidson College, where he earned top honors. Pursuit of a career in medicine took him to Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, where he was class president. He completed his medical internship at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and then served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander in the Medical Corps on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hancock. After an honorable discharge from the Navy, he returned to Birmingham for surgical residency. He completed a fellowship in thoracic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Tom went into private practice as a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, a practice that would be enjoyed for nearly 40 years. Dedicated to his patients and the mentorship of younger doctors, he served as president of the Jefferson County Medical Society and on the board of Brookwood Hospital. Tom played tennis and often hosted touring pros as they came through Birmingham. Beginning as a teenager playing the trumpet, his life-long passion was jazz. Tom was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Christine Breilein Allen, the mother of his three children. He is survived by his second wife, Ora P. Allen, 3108 Karl Daly Rd., Birmingham, Ala. 35210; children, David M. Allen, Catherine A. Walsh (Tom), and Christine A. Marsh (Sam); grandchildren, Thomas Spencer Walsh and Isabella Christine Marsh; siblings, The Reverend Walser H. Allen and Dr. Mary Barbara Allen; nieces, Dr. Anne Allen and Nancy Carlton; nephews, Hadden Allen and Jonathon Allen; and cousins, Sam Allen and Connie Kendrick.