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Westport Names World War II Vet As Memorial Day Grand Marshal

The 2013 Memorial Day Parade steps off in Westport.
The 2013 Memorial Day Parade steps off in Westport. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Bruce M. Allen, a veteran of World War II, has been selected as the grand marshal for Westport's Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 25.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. on Riverside Avenue. Immediately following the parade, memorial services will be held on Veterans Green.

Allen was born in New York City in 1925 and grew up in Crestwood, N.Y.

He served in World War II as a combat infantryman in Europe with the Army's 78th Division. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart (he was wounded at the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine in 1945), Bronze Star and Croix De Guerre.

He studied at Cornell and Wesleyan universities, where he majored in theater and English.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Marjorie Schultze, in 1951, and together they raised four children, Susan, Joseph, Peter and James. He moved to Westport in 1957.

His career was in television production at NBC and ABC. He was a producer/director at J. Walter & Thompson and Grey Advertising, where he was a vice president and production supervisor.

Allen was on the board of the Westport YMCA for many years, serving as director of community services.

Scouting has been a favorite activity of his. Allen earned his Wood Badge, highest level of adult Scout leader training, and served as Scoutmaster of Troop 39 for seven years. During that time, 13 boys attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

A major interest for Allen is the Westport Police Department. He served for 46 years, patrolling many nights and weekends as a Special Police Officer.

He and his wife joined Green’s Farms Congregational Church in 1958. He was moderator, chairman of the board of education, chairman of Deacons, and teacher of church school.

William Vornkahl, president of the Westport Veterans Council, made the announcement of the grand marshal.

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