Obituary for Elinor Allen (Howard)
BARRE- Elinor (Howard) Allen, 99, died on Monday, November 21, 2016 at the Rose Monahan Hospice Home in Worcester, in the presence of her loving family. Her last days were made easier by the compassionate attention of the staff and services of the Rose Monahan Hospice Home and VNACare Network & Hospice.
Elinor was born in Akron, Ohio, on March 12, 1917, to Julian Campbell Howard and Helen Edith (Crosby) Howard. Her parents, who were Massachusetts natives, moved to Akron when her father accepted a job at B. F. Goodrich Co. In 1920, he resigned and accepted a job at Kaufman Rubber Co. in Kitchener, Ontario. Elinor considered Kitchener to be her hometown, having lived there from the age of three years. She graduated from Suddaby School and Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate (high school). She was a proud member of the Church of St. John the Evangelist (Anglican), and she spent many happy hours at the Kitchener Public Library. Elinor loved being outdoors and was able to ice skate, cross-country ski, snowshoe, and hike in the parks of Kitchener and in the surrounding farmlands. Elinor maintained close ties with her high school friends in Kitchener. In 1985 she and her daughter visited them in Kitchener and had an informal reunion.
She also enjoyed time at her family’s cottage near Hawkestone on Lake Simcoe in Ontario. Summer vacations were spent visiting relatives in Massachusetts and Maine.
Elinor graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 1938, having studied Social Work. She continued her education at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, attaining a graduate degree in Library Science in 1940.She worked for the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts, in its public libraries.In 1942 she accepted a new position as the Head Librarian at Woods Memorial Library in Barre, Massachusetts. She taught Sunday School at the Barre Congregational Church and was active in several women’s clubs, including a sewing club and the Women’s Fellowship of the Barre Congregational Church. She remained a member of the Friday Club until the time of her death.
In Barre she met Robert “Bob” H. Allen.They married in the home of Elinor’s parents in Kitchener, Ontario on November 27, 1943. Returning to their home in Barre, the couple spent long hours devoted to wartime activities, Bob at the Chas. G. Allen Co., and Elinor as a volunteer for the American Red Cross and as an aircraft spotter.
After a two-year break living in Tucson, Arizona from 1947 to 1950, they returned to their home in Barre. Elinor took great joy in being a homemaker while her two children were growing up. Her flower gardens were stunning and her needlework was delicate. She also volunteered with children’s activities at the Barre Congregational Church. Elinor is remembered by many women as their Girl Scout leader. She was a member of the former Montachusett Girl Scout Council and served in an advisory capacity for Girl Scouts and leaders in central Massachusetts. The annual camporees at her home in Barre were anticipated with pleasure by her Girl Scouts. Elinor and Bob hosted many sledding parties at their camp in Williamsville, Massachusetts over the years.After her younger child went to college, Elinor returned to work at age 52 as a librarian/teacher for the Worcester Public Schools from 1969 to 1979. While commuting to Worcester every day, she also took classes at Worcester State University to earn the credits necessary for certification as a teacher. Elinor enjoyed her years as librarian /teacher at Lee Street School, Lake View School, and Grafton Street School in Worcester. Suffering two accidents that put her in casts and crutches in these years, she still climbed the stairs to the top floor of Grafton Street School daily to be with her students in the library.
In their retirement, Elinor and Bob enjoyed activities with the Old Car Club, Incorporated, the Watch and Clock Makers Association, the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont, and the Barre Library Association. Elinor served as co-curator of the Barre Historical Society for years. She was a memorable grandmother, ensuring that her grandchildren made cookies and dish gardens with her and hosting overnight stays. She is best remembered by the family for her Thanksgiving dinners.
After Bob’s death in 1990, her daughter Lucy moved back to Barre to live with Elinor. Eventually Lucy became her mother’s full-time caregiver. They enjoyed trips to the coast of Maine and, as Elinor progressed in years, shorter trips riding around the beautiful countryside of the Ware River Valley. Elinor retained her love of nature and the outdoors to her last days.
Elinor also maintained close ties with the Woods Memorial Library in Barre throughout her adult life. She was a member of the Barre Library Association and served as a volunteer through the age of 98. Elinor gave 75 years of her life to working at or volunteering for the Woods Memorial Library, which lowered its flag to half-staff in honor of her death.
Elinor is survived by her son, Roger Allen, and his wife, Nancy, of Kennebunkport, Maine and West Brookfield, Massachusetts, and her daughter, Lucy Allen, of Barre. She leaves two grandchildren: David Allen and his wife, Serenity, of West Brookfield, and Maryanne Allen and her companion, Thomas Rigg, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She also leaves three great-grandchildren, Jack, Sean, and Cadence Allen. She leaves one brother, Kenneth Howard, a sister-in-law, Mary Howard, nieces, nephews, and one cousin. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert H. Allen, her parents, and her brothers, David Howard and Richard Howard.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 11:00AM in the Barre Congregational Church Park St. Barre. All are invited to join with the family for a collation following the service in the church hall. Memorial donations may be made in her name to the Barre Library Association, P.O. Box 731, Barre, MA 01005, or in her name to the Rose Monahan Hospice Home (payable to VNA Care Hospice/Monahan Home), 10 Judith Road, Worcester, MA 01602-3213.Pillsbury Funeral Home 96 S.Barre Rd. Barre is directing arrangements. For an online tribute please visit: Pillsburyfuneralhome.com