The world lost a caring mother, loyal friend and an amazing storyteller. Marian McCarthy Allen passed away peacefully on the morning of February 28th, 2021 in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, seven months shy of her 100th birthday, with her sons, Peter and Jeff, by her side. Marian was born on September 27th, 1921 in Beverly, Illinois to Helen and Frank McCarthy.
In 1938, Marian graduated from Shimer High School in Mount Carroll, Illinois and from The University of Chicago in 1942. Throughout her childhood she became acquainted with a neighbor boy named Simon Allen. Destined for greatness, the two became high school sweethearts. In 1943 Simon volunteered for the United States Army and was shipped off to boot camp. Prior to his deployment to the Pacific during WWII, Marian travelled by train to Little Rock, Arkansas where they eloped.
After 28 long months on the home front, Marian welcomed Simon home, where they started a family on a farm in Southern Wisconsin. When Simon concluded that he was a better salesman than he was a farmer, they relocated to Williams Bay with their five children; Andy, Peter, Tom, Jeff and Patty. A supportive wife and loving mother, Marian raised children while Simon worked at Keefe & Associates.
Marian knew few strangers and was blessed with many lifelong friendships. Her circle of friends participated in a semi-weekly bridge club that lasted over 65 years. When the Kikkoman Factory opened in Walworth, Wisconsin in 1973, Marian volunteered to mentor the wives of the first families from Japan. She was also a supporter of Holiday Home Camp, and the Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva.
Marian’s family grew up enjoying long road trips to destinations across the lower 48 including the Grand Canyon, Redwood National State Park and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some of her happiest mornings were spent scouring for sharks teeth and sand dollars on the shell-filled beaches of Boca Grande, Florida where she once rode her bicycle the entire 6.5-mile distance of the Boca Grande Bike Path with no hands. Her family affectionately remembers spending summers at their home in Lake Geneva where she would cook bratwurst, toss wiffle ball batting practice and unabashedly destroy any challenger on the ping-pong table. She will be remembered fondly for her undeniable charm, quick wit, competitive spirit and exceptional storytelling.
Marian loved being a Mom to her five children, particularly her son Jeff who was her life long partner in crime. Following Simon’s passing in 2011, the famous duo were known to travel the far corners of Walworth County in search of the freshest produce and the tastiest pancakes.
Marian will be remembered by her loving sons, Peter Allen (Peggy), Tom Allen (Deborah), Jeff Allen, daughter Patty Valdes (Ed), daughter in law Joanne Allen, grandchildren, Adam Allen (Marisa), Drew Allen, Amanda Baierl (Jesse), Bo Valdes, Maggie Wolfgram (Jay), Annabel Handler (Ross), great grandchildren, Drew Baierl, Isaac Allen, Gareth Allen, Andrew Allen, Eloise Wolfgram, Simon Wolfgram, Hazel Handler and many loving friends including Scott, Melissa and Molly Lowell. She is predeceased by her parents Helen and Frank McCarthy, husband, Simon Allen Jr., son Andrew Allen and brother, Richard McCarthy. A private memorial will be held on a later date. Please consider making donations in Marian’s name to the Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva or to the ALZ Association to honor her memory and those they serve in perpetuity. These causes were near and dear to her heart. Links have been provided below.
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Derrick Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Allen Family.
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P.O Box 71, 330 Broad Street, Lake Geneva WI 53147
Alzheimer's Association - Southeastern Wisconsin Association
620 South 76th Street #160, Milwaukee WI 53214