Life Story for
If Allen were here to reflect upon his life and tell us how he thought he would have met his maker, his last thought would be due to natural causes. It would have been due to a car accident while outrunning the police in his “souped up” 1935 Ford Coupe while smuggling bootleg liquor across the Kansas/Oklahoma border; or, drowning in a failed attempt to use his state-championship swimming credentials to save his friends when his Ford Coupe was overturned by a flash flood; or, during the time when his B-25 crashed landed into the Pacific during WWII; or, when he came close to being attacked by a 20 foot shark if it weren’t for his custom made CO2 powered spear gun. In the end, our beloved Allen passed away peacefully due to old age, in the company of his family on February 23, 2018 at the age of 91.
Allen was born in April, 1926 in Hamilton, Kansas to Allen and Gladys (Phillips) Gilbert and raised in Coffeyville, Kansas which he considered his hometown. From a young age, Allen was fiery, inquisitive, talkative, and had a love for airplanes. His early passion for airplanes began while building model planes for a local store display. In April 1944, Allen’s love for flying lead him to lie about his age in order to join the U.S. Marine Corp. MACS-2 Squadron, at the age of 17. His first duties as a Marine were as a radio operator and eventually a navigator aboard a B-25, which engaged in several battles, including the invasion of Okinawa.
After the war, Allen flew for the Air Force Reserves, Flying Tigers, and later with Cal Eastern Airways, which lead him to leave Kansas for California. Having owned 37 airplanes during his lifetime and flown everything from a Piper Cub to a B-17, Allen met a new love after moving to Los Angeles that would surpass his passion for airplanes - Diane Fisher. While on his first date with Diane, he told her “Someday I’m going to marry you” and her response was, “That’s what you think.” Allen’s assertion prevailed with the two being married in 1953, and two daughters, Suzanne and Roxanne came thereafter. To spend more time withDiane and his young family, Allen ended his commericial flying career and opened the Val Aero Flight Club at the Van Nuys Airport. His offerings included pilot training, aircraft rental and leasing. Val Aero became the second largest flight club in Southern California.
Allen is survived by his daughters Suzanne Quitoriano of Oxnard and Roxanne Pellegrino (husband Mark) of Glendora; grandson Seth Quitoriano (wife Loan) of Long Beach; granddaughters Jessica, Jeannine and Jillian Pellegrino; and great grandchildren Liam and Lana Quitoriano.
A memorial service will be held at the Veterans Home of California West Los Angeles at 10:30 a.m. on March 29th. A private Celebration of Allen's Life with honors will be held in Oxnard at a later date. A private internment will be held at a future date at Los Angeles National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. Arrangements by Lorenzen Angeleno of Reseda, California.