A gentle man of enduring kindness, Dr. Charles Ross Allen died in the early morning of April 5th, 2022. Born on December 8, 1939, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Jessie and Anna Allen, he grew up to earn a scholarship to the University of Kentucky and later to the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, where he graduated with top honors. He served as a captain in the US Army before completing his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Georgia.
In 1974, enroute from Georgia to Oregon to do a fellowship in the then cutting-edge practice of arthroscopic surgery, he happened upon the town of Lander, Wyoming, a mountain valley that he would make his beloved home for over 5 decades.
With his young wife and daughters in tow, he borrowed $10,000 to purchase a modest home and opened Fremont County’s first orthopaedic surgery practice, Fremont Orthopedics. He became a trusted doctor to the community, mending the broken bones of ranchers, climbers, children, and the elderly alike. He never turned away a patient, at times accepting sides of elk or handmade moccasins as full payment for services. He created an abiding following among nurses who embraced his quick wit and his exactness in medical science and earned the deep respect of his medical colleagues. As Chief of the Medical Staff for the Lander hospital, he oversaw all doctors practicing at the hospital.
He is remembered by colleagues for his medical acumen and pleasant personality and by patients for his gentle kindness and healing abilities. His beeper was a constant presence, alerting him to any broken bone from within a 25-mile radius. Not once did he fail to answer a call.
Dr. Allen matched his excellence in medicine with an equal and abiding commitment to his family and his community. He met his wife Brenda Booke at the University of Kentucky, beginning a life-long love that spanned more than 60 years. Together he and Brenda have two daughters, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
As a father and grandfather he provided endless encouragement, unconditional love, and a quiet steady presence that brought comfort and safety to his clan. He held his children and grandchildren as infants, taught them to ride bikes, introduced them to skiing and tennis, intervened during periods of teenage angst, and addressed bruises and scrapes with surgical tenacity. He attended hundreds of Lander Tiger sporting events, his steady gaze gently encouraging the next pass, sprint, and stroke. “Papa Charlie” was synonymous with a stadium cheer and a pat on the back.
He also extended his warm hands and steady gaze to his canine children, who occupied his close orbit with unrelenting loyalty. He spoke a silent language of love to his dogs, providing the same Dr. Allen sanctuary felt by so many humans. A persistent supporter of the Lander community, he quietly provided bicycles to the Lander police department, extended his love of dogs to the Humane Society, supported the National Outdoor Leadership School, and was a life-long member of the Nature Conservancy.
An avid adventurer, when not “on call” for an emergency, he was often found with his wife on the tennis court at Lander City Park and Teton Pines, biking on trails off the Sinks Canyon Loop Road, skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, boating at Boysen Reservoir, fly fishing in the Popo Agie River and loping across the rolling hills of Togwotee Pass on his snowmobile.
He was a dedicated fan of Kentucky Wildcat and Boston Celtic basketball, and never missed a USTA grand slam tournament. While he traveled occasionally to distant shores, he preferred to be “at home in Wyoming,” where his spirit soared.
He is survived by his wife Brenda Booke Allen, his daughters Amy Allen Carrizosa and Ashley Allen Jones, his sons-in-law Henry Carrizosa and Richie Jones, his five grandchildren: Kayla, Jennifer, Siena, Alexa, and Lucas; six step grandchildren: Lee Lee, Barron, Holcomb, Harry, Megan and Karlee; and three great grandchildren: Griffin, Asher and Kynsley, as well as many people and animals he loved.
In the end, Dr. Allen (husband, father, uncle, friend, Papa, mentor and healer) spread a glittering light from his crystal blue eyes, and kept a warm grin on his face. Our words cannot express the deep sadness we feel by our loss. He will forever live on in our hearts and spirits. Look for him in a sunrise over the Wind River Mountains, listen for his words in the gentle mountain winds, and know that he will be with us always.
A MEMORIAL AND GRAVESIDE SERVICE WILL BE HELD AT HUDSON’S FUNERAL HOME AND MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY RESPECTIVELY ON SATURDAY APRIL 16TH BEGINNING AT 10:30 AM. A RECEPTION WILL FOLLOW AT THE SAWMILL CAMPGROUND PICNIC AREA IN SINKS CANYON STATE PARK. ALL ARE WELCOME. IN HONOR OF CHARLIE’S LOVE OF ANIMALS, THE FAMILY REQUESTS DONATIONS TO THE LANDER PET CONNECTION IN LIEU OF FLOWERS. https://www.landerpets.org/