Merlin Allan’s Legacy Lives On

“Merlin was one of the most determined and passionate people I have ever known. His dedication to and efforts toward making Walton County a better place planted many seeds that led to improvements we are seeing come to fruition today. He is greatly missed.”  

Executive Director Leigh Moore

In Memory of Merlin Allan

Have you noticed the “In Memory of Merlin Allan” dedication signs in the median along US 331 from the Clyde B. Wells Bridge to US 98? If you weren’t sure who Merlin Allan was, please allow us to introduce you to this caring, involved member of the Walton County community. 

Merlin took great pride in preserving and beautifying our communities. He served the Walton County community in various leadership positions including as Founder of the Scenic Corridor Association in the 1990’s and the Scenic Corridor Foundation (now Scenic Walton) in 2008. He served as President of both of these organizations at various times.

Merlin was born in July 1937 and grew up in Panama City,  where he graduated from Bay High School. After 20 years of living in Birmingham, he moved to Destin to be closer to his parents and his roots of Panama City. Merlin worked as Vice President of Real Estate for Howard Group for eight years, and was actively engaged in the real estate business for 43 years. 

He also served in leadership positions at ISCS, Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, Toastmasters, Rotary Club, Destin Chamber of Commerce as President, Fish & Wildlife Commission and as a founding board member of the Walton County EDA. Merlin was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast. This was apparent through his accomplishments as a Boat Captain and Florida Master Naturalist.

At 77 years of age, Merlin passed away on November 6, 2014 after a bravely fought battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife of 44 years Deanna Neugent Allan; daughters, Tracey Prichard, Kristi Penuel, Joanna Coley, Suzette Allan; and 8 grandchildren, Trace, Kristopher, Alex, Robert, William, Anna, Andrew, and Ellis. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oran and Margaret Allan.

Merlin was a man of enormous integrity, character and grit to all that knew him. He was an incredible husband, father, friend, mentor, business associate, and member of his community. We honor him through the dedication of the landscaping in the medians along US 331 from the Clyde B. Wells Bridge to US 98. We feel certain he looks upon it with pride.

When you drive by the signs, we hope you’ll think of the impact Merlin had on his friends, family, and community. Together, we can make Walton County an even more beautiful, safe place to visit and live.