Mary J. Allen, 76, passed away March 12, 2023, after a brave, yet brief fight with cancer. Her last days were spent with the caring staff of Serenity House surrounded by friends and family.
Mary was born December 4, 1946, to Jeanette and Heber Richards in the Upper Peninsula just across the river from Michigan Tech University. After attending school at Southern Illinois University, Mary had an incredible 50-year career in dental hygiene. Practicing with many dental offices and some hospitals along the way, she had the privilege of inspiring the next generation of hygienists as an instructor before her retirement.
She is survived by nine grandchildren (Megan, Avery, Ethan, Ben, Maia, Mackenzie, Tyler, Mina and Livie), three children, (Patrick, Jen and AJ), two brothers, (Guy and John) and her loving husband of 31 years Pat, along with many nieces and nephews. Her sister Barb, first husband John, and her parents preceded her in death.
In life, Mary was a dreamer and loved adventure. She was especially passionate about the thrill of trail riding and experiencing God's creation from horseback. On the water, she loved kayaking or just being part of the crew catching fish in a boat. From the shores of Lake Superior to the sands of Florida, she would always pick up treasures to capture the memory of beach life. She fulfilled a lifelong dream of walking where Jesus did in Israel and was always up to watch an epic movie where good guys overcome impossible odds (especially if there were horses).
Her primary focus was worshiping God and telling others about Jesus. One of the ways she demonstrated His love was to advocate for women. Mary served as area President and other offices of AGLOW International ministries for many years. Pouring herself into the lives of women afforded her opportunities to travel all over the country for conferences. Locally, she enjoyed serving in the Byron Women's club and could be seen chatting it up as owner of Cherished Boutiques.
Of all the flowers and delicious produce of her garden, her favorite was forget-me-nots. You will not be forgotten Mary.
A Celebration of Life will be held April 15th, 2023, at Forest City Fellowship of Rockford at 11am. See their website for location details: https://www.forestcityfellowship.net/ A light lunch will conclude the celebration at the church.
In her memory, please consider donating to one of the following:
Serenity Hospice and Home - https://serenityhospiceandhome.org/
Water is Basic (women's well repair initiative) - https://waterisbasic.networkforgood.com/projects/104956-women-s-well-repair-initiative?_ga=2.1183025.1081901259.1678907217-1658087619.1678907217