Allen Francis Lankton, of Iola, died Saturday, July 18, 2020, at Allen County Regional Hospital, at age 97.
Allen was born Feb. 28, 1923, in Le Roy, the son of Elmer and Frances (Miller) Lankton. He grew up in Le Roy, attending grade school and high school, graduating with the class of 1941.
He joined the United States Army and became a tank driver in the 20th Armed Division, 33rd Calvary Reconnaissance Squadron. He served in Belgium, Holland, France, and Germany in the Battle of the Bulge. He ended his active duty in Austria.
On Sept. 4, 1943, he married Lois Marie Gillespie of Le Roy. They were the parents of Ronald Allen and Cheryle Jeanine (Beard). Lois passed away on Oct. 6, 1986.
Allen worked for a time in Chanute and Burlington as a mechanic. He later purchased the Home Oil service station, which he operated for a number of years. Following a devastating fire at the business he and his wife purchased the school buses for the Le Roy school district. In addition to operating the buses he also worked as a custodian for the school. When the Le Roy-Gridley Schools consolidated, he continued to work part time on various projects.
On June 11, 1987 he married Juanita (Volland) Wright.
Following his retirement, he and Juanita moved to Iola, where they volunteered at the community food pantry for several years.
Allen was baptized in the Le Roy Christian Church where he was an active member. He was later involved at the Northcott Church and finally Covenant of Faith in Iola. He and Juanita took several trips to Guatemala where they volunteered in various capacities. Allen had a true servant’s heart and his greatest pleasure was serving the Lord.
He was a member of the Le Roy VFW, served for several years on the LeRoy School Board, and was a volunteer fireman for many years. He also served as the fire chief for several years. In 2008, he was among the veterans on the first SCC Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
Allen loved his family and particularly enjoyed the Lankton Family Campouts, a tradition that began in the 1960s and ended a few years ago. He enjoyed being with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and truly treasured time with his siblings. His door was always open to anyone that needed his help. He was a living, walking example of God’s true servant.
In addition to his parents, Allen was preceded in death by his first wife Lois; his sister Florence (Jackson); his brother George Lankton; a son-in-law Terry Beard; a step-son-in-law Daniel Ellis; and his wife Juanita Lankton.
He is survived by his son Ronald Lankton and wife Kay, Le Roy; daughter Cheryle Beard, Wichita; eight grandchildren, Kip and Joshua Lankton, Osawatomie, Jason and Korey Lankton, Le Roy, Ronica Ellis, Wichita, Effie Tymony, Kansas City, Mo., Zeph Beard, El Dorado, and Willie Beard, Wichita; 18 great-grandchildren; three great-great-granddaughters; two brothers, Roy Lankton, Le Roy, and Ralph Lankton and wife Ivy, Kingman; and sister-in-law June Lankton, Paducah, Ky. Also surviving are his stepchildren, Michael Wright and wife Jeri, Garnett, Brenda Ellis, Northglenn, Colo., and Terri Meyer and husband William, Shawnee, eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Jones Funeral Home in Burlington. Burial will follow at the Le Roy Cemetery.
The family will meet with friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Jones Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to SCC Honor Flight program and sent in care of Jones Funeral Home, P.O. Box 277, Burlington, KS 66839.
Facemasks are recommended.