James Thomas McAllister
Published: January 23, 2013
Dr. James Thomas "Dock" McAllister, Jr., 91, opened his eyes and saw his Lord, Sunday, January 20, 2013. He was born January 2, 1922 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to James Thomas, Sr., and Clara Leigh (Hicks) McAllister.
He attended college at Hendrix College, then attended UA Medical School in Little Rock. After his first year of medical school, he joined the Navy and served in the Pacific Theatre in Okinawa during World War II. Upon returning from his time in the Navy, he completed medical school and specialized in OB/GYN. He spent his career as an OB/GYN in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, at Jefferson Hospital. Following a car accident, he attended UAMS and earned his specialty in psychiatry and practiced at various state hospitals, finally retiring from Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. During his career in psychiatry, he became very interested in Special Education and worked to improve the programs in schools in the Little Rock area.
He met his loving wife of 63 years, Mary Ellen Kober, at Troy's skating rink in Little Rock and proclaimed upon meeting her that he would marry her someday. Initially, she disagreed but after dating, they were married June 24, 1949 in Gurdon, Arkansas. They would live in Pine Bluff and Bolivar, Tennessee, before settling in Little Rock, where they attended Grace Lutheran Church.
Dock was a great storyteller. He would entertain his friends and family with wonderful stories of his many adventures. He was an avid sportsman, boxing at Hendrix College and in the Navy, an expert fisherman, who always caught his limit and taught many other people to fish, particularly on Lakes Ouachita and Conway. He loved to dance, play cards and bowl with friends and watch the Razorbacks. Among his many other achievements, he was an Eagle Scout, lifeguard, carpenter, mechanic, horse-racing handicapper and expert gardener.
Quoting from poem he would give to people he met, "God is in every tomorrow, therefore, I live for today. Certain of finding at sunrise, hope and strength for the way."
He is preceded in death by his father and mother, father-in-law and mother-in-law, Chris and Hazel Kober; his sisters, Niccey McAllister and Charlotte Kolb; brothers-in-law, James Rippy, Darwin Kolb and Mike Kumpuris. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen; sister, Wanella Rippy; sister-in-law, Christine Kumpuris; daughter and son-in-law, Dee and John Collier of Ocala, Florida, son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Chris and Monique McAllister of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; daughter and son-in-law, Cynthia and Mark Gilleran of Bryant; daughter and son-in-law, Wendy and Sammy Stuart of Alexander , nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation for friends and family will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at Griffin Leggett Forest Hills Funeral Home, 10200 Hwy. 5 N., Alexander, Arkansas. Graveside services will be held 2 p.m., Thursday, January 24th at Pinecrest Memorial Park, 7401 Hwy 5 N. in Alexander.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Lutheran Church of Little Rock, Friends in Christ Lutheran Church of Bryant and/or Humane Society of Pulaski County. Please share your memories of "Dock" at www.griffinleggettforesthills.com.