Benjamin Hayden McAllister


Surrounded by loving family, Benjamin Hayden McAllister, 96, passed away at 11:45 am, Wednesday, June 5, 2024 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The youngest of four children, Ben was born to James Vincent and Anna John (Buckman) McAllister on October 11, 1927. He grew up in the Monroe City area and graduated from Holy Rosary Catholic School. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the military.
After completing his service in the Merchant Marines and the Navy, Ben settled in Mexico. On July 2, 1955, he married the love of his life, Dorothy Louise Bogle. They made their home in Mexico and it was there that they raised their five children. Through hard work and determination, he became the proud owner of McAllister Distributing Co. His work ethic, dedication to family, church, business and community, were characteristics that were recognized by all that knew him. As a business owner he loved to sponsor everything from softball teams, to bowling leagues, to church picnics. Ben was active in the community and was elected to the Audrain Medical Center Board of Trustees, where he served eight years as the Board Chairman. Ben was a devoted member of St. Brendan’s Parish and an active participant in the work of the Knights of Columbus.
Ben sold his business and retired in 1978. He and Dorothy’s retirement was spent living out their dream of traveling by motorhome to visit family and friends and exploring the country along the way. Early in the 1990’s, Ben and Dorothy relocated to Fort Myers Beach, Florida where Ben remained until Hurricane Ian devastated the area in 2022. After the hurricane, he moved back to the Midwest to be closer to children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, (whom he fondly called “the munchkins”). He spent his last years in Kansas City, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Throughout his life, Ben was an avid hunter and fisherman. Many fond memories were made during those trips with his family and his hunting and fishing buddies. The “wild game feasts” after the trips were famous and looked forward to each year by everyone lucky enough to be invited.
Ben always loved a good joke, a funny prank, and a cold beer. He was known for his easy smile, quick wit, deep laugh and love of nicknames. His grandkids knew that they could always count on Pa for ice cream, treats, and popcorn. When they looked in his left shirt “pock” they would always find a packet of juicy fruit or doublemint gum that he had brought to share with them.
His love of being behind the wheel and to have wheels under him, began as a young child and continued throughout his entire life. He loved cars, trucks, antique cars, motorhomes, scooters, minibikes and golf carts. If it had a motor and wheels, he would be driving it. Even when he lost the ability to cruise the roads, he could be spotted throughout the halls and on sidewalks driving his favorite blue scooter, proclaiming “I’ve got wheels”. He loved to take the munchkins for rides and to leave anyone with him on foot in his dust. He was always planning and dreaming of his next trip.
Ben is survived by his children, Chuck McAllister and Donna (JD) Davidson of California, Teresa (Randy) Gruber of St Louis, Anna (Casey) Birmingham of Kansas City, Debbie (John) Myers of Broken Arrow, Okla.K, Ben Jr (Melissa) McAllister of Oklahoma City, Okla. and Jim (Jill) McAllister of Euharlee, Ga. He is also survived by twelve grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.
Ben is preceded in death by his wife Dorothy, grandson Hayden McAllister, and great grandson Dawson Gray.
Family will welcome visitors at noon, Monday, June 10th at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Southwood Colonial Chapel, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Services will begin at 1 pm followed immediately by burial at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Ben may be honored with contributions to the Porta Caeli House, Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma, the hospice home that lovingly embraced him and the family during his final journey.