Merlin "Mickey" Allard, 81, a long-time resident of the Crane area, passed away April 4, 2018, at the Republic Nursing and Rehab Center. Mickey was born on June 17, 1936, to Carl and Marvel "Shorty" Allard in Guyman, Oklahoma. Later in life, she married Ernest Hodson, who preceded her and Mickey in death. After Ernie's death, Mickey was a devoted caretaker for his mother who passed away in 2017 at 99 years of age. He is survived by a sister in Arkansas, other extended family members and many friends.

Mickey was a United States veteran who served with the Navy as a diesel mechanic on naval ships and planes. He was stationed in Africa, as well as numerous stateside ports, including Virginia and Louisiana. He possessed a vast knowledge of mechanical skills which he willingly shared with others. He also enjoyed many hobbies, ranging from prize-winning photography to leathermaking and from gunsmithing to woodworking and fishing. He was also a proficient seamster, as he did uniform alterations for fellow Navy seamen. While working in Kansas City on heavy construction equipment with no days off, his foreman gave him a cash bonus to use as he pleased. Mickey then bought a motorcycle and toured the entire coastline of the United States. Once finished, he returned to work at the construction site.

Mickey was a world traveler and enjoyed many types of food, but in recent years his favorite places were the local diners in and around Crane, where he enjoyed the camaraderie of friends and his preferred Diet Dr. Pepper. He was quick-witted and known for his quiet comebacks which showed his good sense of humor.

Mickey's final wishes have been followed. After donations to medical science, his remains will be interred with standard military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.