Hurricane Katrina

John David Allen, 48, Biloxi

BILOXI ---John David Allen was a free spirit who, after a life of wandering, settled in Biloxi to be near the sea.

Allen and his wife, Susan, drowned in their apartment just a few blocks from the Broadwater Beach Marina. Both were part-time casino workers and John, 48, also worked as a construction contractor.

John's father, Eldo Ray Allen of Combes, Texas, said John most recently moved to Biloxi three years ago. The couple had lived in Biloxi before and left to work in Tennessee, the state where John grew up.

"He was a wanderer," Eldo said. "He was just kind of a free spirit. He went to Biloxi and started working. He liked Biloxi more than any other place he went."

Eldo said John loved country-western music as a teenager.

"His hobby was playing guitar and writing songs," Eldo said. "His heroes were Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Sr."

John is survived by a 23-year-old daughter.

Eldo said, "He was so handsome and his daughter got his looks --- his smile and his laugh."