Alice L. Allen, 95

Alice Allen b&wWESTBROOK — Alice Lydia Allen, 95, died early in the morning on May 2, 2014, at Avita of Stroudwater, Westbrook, where she had recently moved.

Born July 28, 1918, in South Bristol, to Gifford and Maud Gamage, Alice was the youngest of four daughters. She grew up in South Bristol, and later spent her winters in Fairhaven, Mass., near where the boat her father captained wintered.

After the death of her father in 1934, she and her mother moved to Portland, where they had family, and it was then that she connected with her future husband, Neal W. Allen Jr. They both graduated from Deering High School in 1936. Alice was the first in her family to go on to higher education, graduating from Westbrook Junior College in 1938 with a degree as a medical secretary. She was able to type 125 words per minute on those old manual typewriters, a talent she would later apply in the workplace and in typing her husband’s PhD dissertation.

Following Neal’s graduation from Bowdoin, the couple married on December 21, 1940. During their early years of marriage, Alice worked while Neal earned his Master’s in History from Harvard. After one year of teaching in Mass., where their first child, Richard, was born, Neal joined the U.S. Army for WWII. In 1945 and 1946 Marian and Neal III were born, and in 1950 Neal returned to Harvard for his residency for his PhD. The next year the family moved to Schenectady, N.Y., where Neal joined the Union College history department. Alice enjoyed many years there raising her family, which in 1954 included one more son, Edward or Ned. She also enjoyed being involved as a faculty wife, and spending summers in Maine.

In the 1960s Alice worked briefly for Planned Parenthood and was a census taker. When Neal retired from Union in 1981, the couple moved to South Freeport. In 1991 they moved to a house they built on the Allen family property in Sebago. She lived there for a number of years after her husband died in 1992, and spent most of the last four and a half years living at 75 State Street Assisted Living in Portland.

Alice was an excellent baker, famous in the family for her apple pie, chocolate sauce, rolls, biscuits, and blueberry muffins. Into her 90s she picked her own blueberries for muffins. She enjoyed reading, braiding rugs, and working on genealogy. She could whip up a meal for 20 and be the most gracious hostess.

After her children were grown, Alice took up art and excelled in portraits of her family members. She also enjoyed planning trips and traveling, and lived and traveled in Europe several times as well as visiting relatives around the U.S. Most of all she enjoyed her family. As an empathetic, open-minded person, she had a positive impact on that family.

The last of her generation in the Gamage-Allen line, her long life can be attributed in part to her gratitude for being able to experience the natural beauty around her and this mysterious experience called life; her toughness and strength to face the challenges of aging; and on occasion she brought laughter to those around her with her frankness about her situation.

She is survived by her four children: Richard (wife, Margaret), of Tilton, N.H. and Sebago, Marian, of Sitka, Ala., Neal, of Portland and Sebago, and Edward (Ned) (wife, Carol Colby) of Bridgton; grandchildren Paul Fenimore of Los Alamos, N.M., Rachel Fenimore of Seattle Wash., David Allen of Sebago, James Allen of Seattle, Nicholas Allen of Newbury, Mass., Reed Allen of Bowdoin, and Anastasia Allen of Portland; great-grandchildren Wyatt and Evan Allen of Newbury, Kyle and Eric Fenimore of Los Alamos, Sydney, Isabelle, and Jack Allen of Seattle, and Adele Allen of Bowdoin.

A memorial service will be held this summer. Donations in her honor may be made to the Westbrook Junior College Annual Fund of the University of New England, c/o Scott Marchildon, 716 Stevens Ave., Portland, ME 04103; or to the Neal Allen Fund at the Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101.

Services are under the care of Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland

Please visit www.jonesrichandhutchins.com for additional information and to sign Alice Allen’s online guestbook.

 

 

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