William B. “Washboard Bill” Allman of West Grove

William B. “Washboard Bill” Allman.

William B. “Washboard Bill” Allman

William B. “Washboard Bill” Allman,  87, of West Grove, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Feb. 11, at the Neighborhood Health Hospice in West Chester. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of Drue Nunez Allman, a well-known horticulturist, who developed a greenhouse business with over 45,000 square feet under glass and Blanche (Oppenheimer) Allman, a journalist.

Bill was predeceased by his parents and older brother Herbert Allman. He is survived by artist Margo Hutz Allman with whom he celebrated nearly 61 years of marriage. He is also survived by his daughter Avis Louise Allman, son David Drue Allman, daughter in-law Lisa (Oakman) Allman, grandson Kevin William Allman, and granddaughter Valarie Carolyn Allman.

Allman served his country in WWII, in the U.S. Navy, as an electronic mate 2nd class. He attended Drexel University earning an engineering degree in 1949 and an master’s degree from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1951. Allman began a career of 31 years with the Atlantic Refining Company and then the DuPont Co. in Newark, serving as contract engineer, field and construction engineer, and systems engineer. At DuPont, he developed and deployed complex programming to maximize efficient use of materials involved in engineering decisions. He retired in 1982.

Allman was a member and chairman of the Newark Bi-Racial Committee from 1963 to 1971. He was involved in initiatives changing the civil rights attitude and directly contributed in the open housing efforts during this controversial time. A complete record of his contributions are documented in the Allman Archives at the Delaware Historical Society located in Wilmington.

Allman was a recognized musician listed in Who’s Who in American Music. Known as “Washboard Bill”, he sat in with renowned jazz and blues artists including Lionel Hampton, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. For more than four decades he was part of the Melton Brothers Band with Dale and Dennis Melton.

A Celebration of his Life will be held later in the year.

In memory of Bill, contributions may be made to Neighborhood Health Hospice Services, 400 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380 or Neighborhood Services, 35 N. 3rd St., Oxford, PA 19363.

For full obituary and family photos, please visit www.griecocares.com

Arrangements by the Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home, West Grove, Pa.

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