photo by Bruce L. Hogle
With great sadness, we learned of the death of popular cowboy, ranch manager, and poet Trey Allen on July 7, 2016, after a long, brave battle with multiple myeloma.
His many, many friends and loving family know that Trey, in the words of his wife, Janice Hannagan-Allen, was “a true cowboy, thru and true all the way.” Janice commented that Trey was, “A man that has touched a million lives, not just as a poet but as a friend to all of us …. He loved you all as much as you loved him …. Your love and prayers for our family are much appreciated …”
In a recent article in Western Horseman by Senior Editor Jennifer Denison, his friend, poet Jay Snider, is quoted, “Trey is one of those guys that lives every day by the same code of ethics as the old-timers. It means something to him that your word is your bond and that you do what you say you’re going to do.”
See a Western Horseman tribute here, which includes Trey Allen’s poem, “The Way I Remember Him.”
We were honored to have a painting of Trey as the 2015 Cowboy Poetry Week poster. Photographer Carol Barlau took the photograph that was featured in Don Dane‘s painting of Trey Allen, “Cowboy True, Thru and Thru.”
Trey’s family shared his obituary:
Jack Carter “Trey” Allen III, 45, of the McDowell Creek Community, Manhattan, Kansas, passed away peacefully with his parents present, July 7, 2016. Trey battled Multiple Myeloma cancer since 2013.
Trey was born January 20, 1971 in Richardson Texas, the son of Jack Carter Allen Jr. and Tana (Davis/Wiggins) Gasparek. He went to grade school in Claude, Texas; attended Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, Amarillo, Texas 1983-1988; and graduated from Claude High School in 1989.
For some twenty years and change, Jack “Trey” Allen wrote and recited cowboy poetry. He started out gathering intel early in life as a bullrider/bullfighter and graduated to shoeing horses and starting colts. To those in the know, this should explain a great deal. At the point he began his family, however, the conclusion was reached that three meals a week and Copenhagen made less than desirable home conditions and he settled into a real job near the present-day metropolis of Hooker, Oklahoma. While earning a regular paycheck, he kept his hand turned at colts and shoeing, day working, and so on. It was during this time he became intimate with a little known group called “Corporate America.” Thirteen years of that and he packed his family up, headed for the mountains of south central Colorado, near Canon City, and became a full-time cowboy for the rest of his life. In 2006, he moved to Kansas and for 10 years he managed the Moyer Ranch in the northern Flints Hills of Kansas, south of Manhattan, Kansas.
Trey performed cowboy poetry from the Gulf Coast of Alabama to North Dakota and from Missouri to Utah. He was one of four event winners at the first Cowboy Poetry Rodeo and was purty fortunate in subsequent National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo events. In 2011, Kansas hosted its first annual State Cowboy Poetry competition, and a win there offered Trey the opportunity to perform for the “Gubernatorial Entourage” at the Symphony of the Flint Hills, Alma Kansas, in front of Governor Sam Brownback; he considered that a career highlight. The Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Colorado and the Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering in Sierra Vista, Colorado, were among his favorite gatherings to perform, along with local Kansas Livestock Association meetings.
Trey could always be seen wearing his trademark pink tall tops, colorful shirt and just as colorful wild rag on stage. His girls would call him “The Skittles cowboy.” Trey titled himself as “Cowboy Poet, Humorist, Surveyor of Kingdoms, and Practitioner of Quality, Truth and Improvement.”
Trey was past president of the Kansas Livestock Association, local chapter in Junction City, Kansas.
Trey is survived by his wife, Janice (Hannagan) Allen, Manhattan, Kansas; three daughters, Shandee, Edmond Oklahoma, and Lara and Tera M., Cushing, Oklahoma; two step children, Jenna and Colton, Manhattan, Kansas; mother, Tana (Davis/Wiggins) Gasparek, Tres Piedras, New Mexico; step father (the man Trey called dad) Dee Aduddell and his wife Ronda, Claude, Texas; sisters Tera J. Ingram, Emporia, Kansas and Shana Aduddell, Amarillo, Texas; two brothers, Cody Aduddell, Claude, Texas and Seth Aduddell, Amarillo, Texas; two nephews, Tough Medina, Emporia, Kansas and Trenton Richey, Pampa, Texas; a favorite niece, Evelyn Aduddell, Claude, Texas; along with all his brothers from Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Amarillo, Texas and all his numerous cowboy poet friends.
Trey was preceded in death by his father Jack Carter Allen Jr., December 29, 1972.
Trey’s wish was to have his three girls take a road trip to scatter his ashes at all the ranches where he was employed and where he day-worked.
There will be a celebration of life, or as Trey would call, it a “shindig,” later this fall at the McDowell Creek Community Center, Manhattan, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to “Allen Girls’ College Fund,” 15601 Hannagan Road, Manhattan KS 66502. Their education was very important to him.