Former Payson Town Council member Lawrence "Larry" L. Allen, a Payson resident since 1976, died Tuesday at the age of 86 in the town he loved and helped put on the map.
Town Council member Jack Monschein called Mr. Allen "a fiery little devil."
"If he believed in a cause, he would fight to support that cause -- he wouldn't back down," Monschein said.
"I don't know where he got his energy. He was taking on projects all the time."
Mr. Allen had a number of causes and was active in the community, serving on the Payson Town Council from 1980 to 1988. He was vice mayor for two of those years.
Mr. Allen was a member of the Payson Airport Board Committee, and belonged to the Elks. He was also instrumental in the creation of Green Valley Park.
At the time of his death, he was serving on the Northern Gila County Sanitary District Board.
Long-time local resident and fellow Sanitary District Board member Roy Creach remembers Mr. Allen as a board member who was very thoughtful of the users of the district. "I liked him very much, and what mostly impressed me about him was his thoughtfulness and caring about people," Creach said. "He was a very good citizen and he was pretty high in my book."
If Allen did a lot of work in the town, he also knew how to have a good time. He enjoyed golf and traveled around the world.
"He was one tremendous poker player and he was a tremendously good athlete," Monschein said. "If I remember, and if the stories are true, he tried out as a catcher for the Chicago Cubs."
Allen's friends knew him as an outgoing man who was always smiling.
"(He was) just a happy-go-lucky individual," said Monschein. "He will be missed by the people of Payson."
Allen is survived by a daughter, Judith Wodash of Mesa; a grandson, Lt. Col. Donald Wodash of Phoenix; a granddaughter, Donna Chailland of Beaufort, S.C.; and four great-grandchildren. Family members say they want to express their special thanks to all of Larry Allen's friends in Payson.
Funeral services were set for 10 a.m. Friday, July 16 at Payson Funeral Home. Burial was to follow in Mountain Meadows Cemetery in Upper Round Valley.
Payson Funeral Home handled arrangements.