Barbara Ann (Sumner) Allen of Kingsville, Texas entered her heavenly home on September 15, 2021, sur-rounded by her loving and devoted husband of 54 years, Shermie, and her son Troy.
Barbara was born on May 17, 1945 in Beeville, Texas. She was the only child of Johnie and Ann Sumner. Johnie worked in the oil field, so the family moved around quite a bit in Barbara’s early years. Life settled for Barbara as she entered high school in Edinburgh, Texas. Barbara was a lover of all things music. She was an outstanding clarinet player, achieving first-chair status in the Texas All-State Band from 1961-1963. After high school, Barbara attended business college in San Antonio. It was during this time that Barbara met the love of her life, Shermie, in Pleasanton, Texas. They were married on August 19, 1967, and began life in Kingsville. Shermie worked for Humble Oil, later Exxon, at the King Ranch Gas Plant, which allowed them to stay in Kingsville. While there, Barbara completed a degree in Business Administration at Texas A&I University, grad-uating in 1973. Barbara and Shermie had their only child, Troy in 1974.
Barbara was a committed wife and faithful mom. She served as the president of the PTA for both Lamar Elementary and Kleberg Elementary, and even made a run for the Kingsville Independent School Board. She sought to be active in the places where her son was active, even going so far as to coach his soccer team, even though she had never even played soccer. She was also an avid tennis player in her younger years and active in the Kingsville Tennis Association. She was qualified as a tennis umpire, occasionally calling matches at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi. Early in her career, Barbara was an aspiring entrepreneur with her own cake decorating business. Her cakes were in high demand. Barbara also worked for Celanese in the construction office. She then moved to a job with Texas A&I University as the Director of Concessions and Vending. Barbara finished her career as the Athletic Secretary for H.M King High School. She assisted all of the coaches, but more than that, she became like a second ‘mom’ to many of the athletes, cheerleaders, and drill team. While balancing a busy career, Barbara always made ample time for family, supporting Shermie in his work endeavors and Troy in his athletics. Barbara never missed one of her son’s games be it t-ball, soccer, or basketball.
Barbara was an active member at First Baptist Church in Kingsville and put her musical talents to good use here. She sang in the choir, played piano for various groups, and directed The Master’s Hands handbell choir sharing her love of handbell music in this way for over 25 years. In addition to volunteering musically, Barbara was active in the youth ministry while Troy was in middle and high school. She chaperoned many trips to camps, conferences, and events. It was through the ministries of First Baptist that Barbara’s servant heart was put on display. She enjoyed serving through organizing bake sales, postcard sales, cooking meals for different groups, and helping with Vacation Bible School.
Barbara was a good friend to so many. No matter where she went, she knew someone. She loved people well and rarely met a stranger. She was always quick to find common ground or a common friend. She loved meeting new people, whether a checker at HEB, a nurse at the doctor’s office, or at the salon. Barbara did not only want to know you, but all about you. She had a mind for details and a heart for people.
If you knew Barbara, then you knew she had a love for all things red. She drove red cars, wore red as often as she could, painted her nails red, carried a red handbag, she even wore Red” perfume. Another example of her love for all things red was her support for the Arkansas Razorbacks (Woo Pig Sooie). One of the main reasons she chose the Razorbacks was because they wore red. Like a true Texan, she made one exception to loving red things in her equal love of bluebonnets. She seeded the family place in Lockhart with bluebonnets.
The most important thing to know about Barbara’s life is that she loved the Lord Jesus. Her ability to know and love people well was the result of her relationship with Jesus. Her desire to serve people was the result of her relationship with Jesus. Her faithfulness to friends and family was the reflection of her faithfulness to Jesus. Her legacy of faith goes beyond her days on this earth.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Johnie and Ann Sumner. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Shermie Allen of Kingsville, her son Troy and wife Paige of College Station, three grandchildren, Hudson, Greydan, and Zoe, brother-in-law William Allen and wife Patricia of Houston, sister-in-law Jolene Evans of Bryan, as well as cousins, nephews, nieces, and countless friends.
A memorial service will be held at 10am on Saturday, October 2 at First Baptist Church of Kingsville Texas located at 312 West King Avenue. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Barbara’s memory to the South Texas Children’s home at STCH Ministries, P.O. Box 1210, Beeville, Texas 78104-1210 (Make checks payable to South Texas Children’s Home).
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