Don Allen

Obituary of Don William Allen

Don William Allen
July 28, 1950 to April 6, 2021

Don William Allen, age 70, of Bath passed after a courageous battle with ALS, Don entered into the loving arms of our Heavenly Father at the age of 70 in the early hours of Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Born the youngest to Donald L. and Mary A. (Herbst) Allen on July 28, 1950, Don grew up on the family farm and was a lifelong resident of Bath, Michigan.  GOD forged a loving bond between Don and his wife of 40 years, Michelle (Burnett), married May 23, 1980. Together they raised their 4 children and special gift of a distant cousin in a CHRIST-centered home.

Don honored his LORD by serving in many areas of the body of CHRIST including audio/visual ministries, repairing electronic devices, and meeting other’s needs being the all-around “fix it guy”.   A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, he also spent much of his time ministering to individual family members and helping out at each of their homes with all kinds of projects.

He apprenticed in the Elevator Shop at the MSU Physical Plant, and retired in 2012 after 42 years of service there.  Don “Statler” made many memories and had great friendships with Larry “Waldorf” Hayner, Rick Sanford, and others at MSU.  Don found solace in GOD’s creation, taking long walks and spending time alone with the LORD in HIS natural settings.  He and Michelle spent their retirement years travelling, exploring nature, and renovating their home together. 

Don will be remembered as an authentic servant of GOD, a witness to the love of CHRIST and the hope of eternity, a faithful provider, the truest example of a good and Godly man, and the patriarch of our earthly family. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, and many aunts and uncles. Don is survived by his wife, Michelle; their children, Hollie (Jeremiah) Lane, Kellie (Michael) Soper, IvyLynn (Scott) Olson, Peter (Melissa) Allen, and Ondrayah Thornton; grandchildren, Abigail, Andrew, and Annabelle Soper, Alexis and Matthew Olson, Tyller Joy, Riley, and Noah Cantwell; and 4 great-grandchildren; brothers, David (Terri) Allen and Jeffrey (Carmen) Allen; Uncle Gene and Aunt Tilly Montaven; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Don, Dad, Grandpa, GGPa, and wise mentor - we hope to see you again in Our Heavenly Home.

Our family would like to give a special thank you to our lawyer Jack Jordan. He is a brother in CHRIST and has become a new friend along with his wife Rica. We want to give special tribute to McLaren Hospice, the Susan Mast ALS Foundation, the ALS Foundation of Michigan, and the ALS Clinic in the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary (Grand Rapids, Michigan) for their extensive and compassionate support. We also thank Calvary Baptist Church (Lansing, Michigan) and the many friends and family for their loving support throughout this time.    

If you desire to make a memorial donation in Don’s memory, he was a faithful supporter of the Youth Haven Ranch Ministries (3796 Perrine Rd, Rives Junction, Michigan, 49277; A small memorial gathering will be planned for a later date. Additionally, Don wrote and would like to share with you a letter and a story.  We have included them here and are also sharing them at, along with future gathering details. May GOD be glorified as you reflect upon this well-loved man’s life.

Cremation arrangements entrusted to the Jansen Family Funeral Home in Columbiaville, Michigan.


Letter Written by Don Allen 

I find myself setting on the patio, on the new deck our family has built for us, listing to our fountain and watching the birds and squirrels and thinking about my past life and the goodness of GOD. Our friend and brother Omar was right. We are all deteriorating right on schedule. I don’t know what HIS plan for me is with this disease but I do know that at some point in time, probably sooner than later, I will be leaving this earthly home behind and entering my eternal home and seeing the one who has saved me from the punishment I deserve. That is a comforting thing to meditate on for it is not just a hope but a certainty. As you read this letter be assured that I am there. I would send you a postcard but a picture just can’t capture the splendor and majesty on display here. As the MercyMe song says “I can only imagine “. Now I don’t have to imagine. Now I know.

I have a few thoughts I’d like to share. I’m sure some of mine are a lot like some of yours. We tend to see the world through the lens of the time and place we live in and the influence of those around us. At some point in time though we are faced with deciding what we really believe and not what we were taught to believe. Some do this without realizing it and others with full intent. What we choose to believe and act on determines our behavior, our speech, who we associate with, in other words the content of our character. When you pop a balloon what comes out? Air. Why? Because that’s what went in.

When we let the Holy Spirit fill our lives what comes out is the fruit of the spirit. If we let sin fill our lives what comes out is bitterness, anger, envy, deceitfulness and the like.

There is no neutral zone. We are either living in faith or in sin. Notice that the words faith and sin both have an “I” in the middle. There is only one “I” , that being me. The choice of where it goes is mine. If I choose sin the evil one is there waiting for me. If I choose faith GOD is there waiting for me.

In 1974 I was struggling with that very issue. I had been reading in the book of Exodus after watching C. B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments. I rarely even looked at a bible before then and was attending a United Methodist church where the Bible was just a story book and not taken seriously. During this time I had gone to Holland state park and was looking out at Lake Michigan and started to picture the lake splitting open like the Red Sea had done in exodus. At that point The Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit and said the time has come for you to make a decision. I realized I needed to decide where “I” would place myself, in sin or in faith. Life was meaningless to me. I was at the point of planning how to end my life. I had tried living without God and it didn’t work. I was a miserable, angry, insensitive, selfish human being looking to use anyone and anything for my own purposes. God impressed on me that if I claimed to be HIS I needed to make it real and start living like it. The time for decision had come and I couldn’t avoid it any longer. Being a Christian is not something to play at. There are no part time Christians. I wanted the benefits of Christianity but not the commitment to Christ. God said no more. Take me or leave me but make a decision. I chose Him and made a commitment to follow Him.

I will admit that I started to walk away a few times but God always brought me back. And yes, there were consequences to my actions I had to live with but my sins were forgiven and my home in heaven secure.

2 Peter 3:9 says that GOD is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. However GOD chooses to do it every one is brought to the point of having to make that decision. No one is ever condemned unjustly. Some are too hard hearted to hear the call of GOD. Some think if they ignore GOD he’ll go away. Others are too self absorbed to hear or think of anyone but themselves. Some are angry with GOD for some reason. Whatever the cause people choose to say no to GOD. We are created with a GOD sized hole in our hearts that only HE can fill and HE desires to fill it. GOD came to this earth in the form of a man called Jesus to pay the price for our sin so HE could fill that hole.

I know what severe depression is and how the evil one uses it for his own purposes. I’ve heard it said that the United States has the most depressed population on earth making us more vulnerable to attack by satan. And he is the master at it. We believe ourselves to be so independent and free to make our own choices but we are not. There are forces of evil intently working in our lives 24 hours a day to keep us away from GOD. 1Peter 5:8 tells us that satan is like a roaring lion seeking out those he can devour. If we could see the demonic activity going on around us we would be scared senseless. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Our only hope is a strong defender, the LORD Jesus Christ. Jesus has won the victory over sin and death but GOD is allowing satan to continue his rampage of destruction for a little longer, until a time GOD has chosen to bring it to an end. And end it will.

Matthew 12:30 tells us that if we are not for GOD we are against HIM. To say no to GOD is to say yes to the evil one. GOD does not run a democracy. There is no neutral zone. There is no room for negotiation. We must all make a decision for or against GOD. The answer to that question has eternal consequences.


Story By Don Allen 

I have a story for you about a man named Ichabod. Why Ichabod you ask? I didn’t think any of you would have that name so no one would think this is directed at them.

Ichabod was an average sort of guy with no outstanding qualities to speak of. He just took life as it came to him. One day while opening his mail he noticed an unusual looking envelope. Upon opening it he found an invitation to a wedding party from someone he didn’t know. It talked about a benevolent benefactor who was looking for people to attend a banquet at his house where there would be plenty to eat and drink. The envelope included a book that gave all the instructions necessary to get there. After reading the book Ichabod felt the invitation must be genuine. No one would go to all this trouble as a prank. He noticed an RSVP in the envelope and decided to mail it back. After thinking it through Ichabod decided that his car wasn’t good enough to make the trip keeping him from going. The benefactor had already planned for that. A short time later he heard a knock at the door. When he opened it there was a new car in his driveway with a note that read, your transportation for the trip is furnished. Your car has a name. It’s called the faithmobile. Enjoy driving it to the banquet.

Ichabod was soon behind the wheel driving down a road called life. He found it to be a challenging road to drive filled with potholes. It was slow going at times but he kept at it getting shaken by the potholes he kept hitting. He saw that the potholes all had names like envy, greed, anger, and lust. He began to worry that the car wasn’t strong enough to take all the potholes he was hitting but soon realized the faithmobile was more than adequate and he could rest assured that if he stayed in the car and kept driving he would be alright. Sometimes the scenery along the road made him think he had made a wrong turn and was on the wrong road. After reading in the book again he decided he was on the right road and should ignore the scenery and keep driving.

He had been driving on the road called life for some time now and was getting tired and began to think he had made a mistake as this was had become a long hard drive. He wondered if he should just stop and maybe turn around and go back. It was then that he saw a sign along the road side that said “don’t give up Ichabod, you’re almost there! “

Upon reading the sign he felt determined to make it to the end. A short time later he came up over a steep tall hill and could hardly believe what he was seeing. It was a huge mansion of indescribable dimension and beauty. In the doorway of the mansion stood the benefactor who had given the invitation. As Ichabod approached the doorway the benefactor came out to greet him with a loving smile and a big warm hug. I’m so glad you came he said. I put that sign on the road to encourage you to continue on your journey. You see I once lived in your part of the world and I know how hard it can be to travel the road of life so I decided to make it easier for those who would come to my banquet. That’s why I gave you the faithmobile and the book of instructions. I even put up some road signs to help along the way. Please come inside and meet my other guests. I have a room prepared especially for you in the mansion.

Ichabod did meet the other guests some of which he found he already knew. He loved his special room in the mansion and grew to love the benefactor more and more because now he knew what real love is.

Ichabod never left that mansion nor did he ever want to.

How about you? Do you want an eternal future like Ichabod has?

GOD came to this earth 2000 years ago in the person of a man named Jesus to live a sinless life and give his life for all of humanity, past, present, and future as a sacrificial offering to take the punishment we all deserve. Because of Jesus loving us enough to shed his blood for us we can have an eternal relationship with GOD who is our benefactor. Those of us who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ know in our hearts and see in our lives that he is real and alive today. He died, was buried in a tomb, and rose to life again so that we could live forever with HIM. Sin and death have been defeated but you can only share in that victory by confessing to GOD that you are a sinner and want and need the salvation provided for us by Jesus Christ.

Confess your a sinner to HIM and invite HIM to enter your heart and take control of your life. It will be the best decision you have ever made.

You either have felt, are now feeling, or will feel the presence of GOD in your life urging you to come to HIM. Don’t ignore the call of GOD. How you respond could be the best decision of your life. I hope to see all of you here. That choice is yours.

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