Music 32

Mary R. Allen

June 12, 1922 ~ February 24, 2023 (age 100) 100 Years Old



Mary Rose Margaret Hopkins-Husson Allen, a longtime piano teacher in Norman, passed into Eternal Life on February 24, 2023, at the age of 100.  Mary was born June 12, 1922, in Multan, Pakistan (former British India), the 8th of 10 children born to Florence (Downes) and Arthur Hopkins-Husson.  She was home schooled until age 12, and she then attended two boarding schools in the Himalayan Mountain towns of Murree and Mussoorie.  While a student at Woodstock, an International American run school, renowned for its excellence in Music and the Arts, Mary passed with Honors the Senior Cambridge Exams and graduated in December of 1938.  During the next three years as a Student-Teacher on Woodstock’s Music Staff, she attained Trinity College of Music.  She earned a diploma from London with degrees of Associate and Licentiate.


World War II brought a cosmic change to Mary’s life with the subsequent arrival of U.S. Military in early 1942.  Employed as a secretary at the 3rd U.S. Air Depot in Agra (home of the World famous Taj Mahal), she was swept into the clouds of marriage by the “man of her dreams”, U.S.A.A.C. Pilot, Lt. Roy W. Allen.  He was engaged in flying missions to China, over the “Hump” (name given the Himalaya Mountains by U.S. Pilots).  Upon the completion of his overseas duties, he was reassigned and returned stateside in September 1944, shortly before the birth of their son.  At the end of the war, VJ Day September 2, 1945, all restrictions for civilian travel were lifted.  Thus allowing her to join him in America.


Traveling from Calcutta on May 3, 1946, this 23 year old War Bride, who had never seen an ocean nor large ships, embarked with her tiny son on the U.S. Marine Panther, a troop ship.  Mary said, “It was no Shirley Temple Good Ship Lollipop!”  The nightmare of the 30 day journey across the Pacific ended on June 3rd, when they disembarked at San Francisco where her husband met them.  They spent a few days of sightseeing and Roy getting acquainted with his son, Cecil, before taking a three day train trip to Bristow, OK, home of his parents.


Meeting his parents and family, trying to adjust to a new country and a different culture, while rather homesick, was at first daunting and exasperating.  Persevering over the years, Mary gave birth in 1947 to their second son, Bill, born in Bristow; became a U.S. citizen in 1949; voted for the first time in her life (for DDE); then ultimately settling down to civilian life after her husband’s Honorable Discharge from Military Service, where her husband worked in the Oil Business.  The family lived and flourished in numerous Texas and Oklahoma towns.  While in Fort Worth, Mary’s mother came from England; staying until after their third son, Anthony, was born in 1953.


Mary became a member of the Petroleum Wives Club.  Furthermore joining The Overseas Wives Club and consequently forging lifelong friendships within splendid group of ladies fondly nicknamed “Les Girls”.


In 1955, while living in Ardmore, they were blessed with their fourth child, a daughter, Rosemary, in addition to their two older sons beginning schooling.  Their wayfaring journey settled in 1958, after a transfer to Seminole where they took root for 18 years.  Mary joined the Federated Music Club and began giving the gift of musical theory and education to a plethora of students, achieving the reputation of being the most qualified piano teacher in the community.  She actively participated in her children’s school activities, P.T.A., Band Parents, Boy Scouts, and Camp Fire.  Mary was the organist for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for 18 years, where volunteered her time and talents to Sunday school, attending the Altar, and was an active member of the Episcopal Church Women.


When her elderly parents-in-law were having health problems, they moved to Bristow to care for them in their final years.  Unfortunately and most unexpectedly, Roy died too, at the age of 58 in 1976, leaving Mary alone.  She continued teaching piano, and at the age of 54, learned to drive.  Mary made many trips to visit her children and their families.  She was a loving and devoted Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother.  Until her death, the entire Allen clan met for either the Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations.


Needing to be closer to her children, she made a final move in 1982, to Norman where she happily resided ‘til her passing.  An avid gardener, Mary kept a beautifully landscaped yard and fed the many different birds that visited her backyard.  Piano teaching, recitals and concerts continued until her 90th birthday when she retired, after 60 years of teaching, both overseas and in many Oklahoma towns.  Mary was a very active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church.  She served as a Lay reader, member of Episcopal Church Women, Altar Guild, Ray Gumm Ministry, and The Daughters of the King, Martha Chapter; serving twice as its President, and also Secretary/Treasurer for the Province VII Daughters of the King and attended several National and Provincial Conferences in various states.


Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Roy; his parents; her parents; six brothers; two sisters; and many United Kingdom relatives and childhood friends.


Mary is survived by her sister, Barbara Riddett and husband Jim of Hampton, England; her three sons, C. G. Allen and wife Carolyn of Kansas, Bill Allen and wife Toni of Norman, Anthony Allen and wife Dr. Joann of Tulsa; her daughter, Rosemary Schrempp and husband Tom of New Mexico; ten grandchildren, John Allen and Lisa Deaton of Missouri, Liz Allen and Zak Merryfield  of Missouri, Leslie Allen Torres and husband Gary of Norman, Amy Allen Conner and husband Sam of Tulsa, Casey Allen Reichardt and husband Retired Lt. Commander Chris of Norman, Acacia Flamm and husband Justin of Ohio, Eli Allen of Iowa, Alex Allen of Tulsa, Diane and Jim Groening  of New Mexico, and Mark Schrempp  of New Mexico; sixteen great-grandchildren, Azavier Pitts of Norman, Kaity Cooper and husband Jim of Missouri, Ian Wallace of Kansas, Aaron Russell and husband David of El Reno, Derek Batton of Oklahoma City, Brianna Batton of Norman, Taylor Conner of Moore, Riley Conner of North Carolina, Amber Desruisseau and husband Alex of Tulsa, Piper and Jack Reichardt of Norman, Lanie and Sally Flamm of Ohio, Ella Rose and Adelaide Margaret Groening of New Mexico, and Daken Douglas Allen of Texas; and two great-great-grandchildren, Willow Rose Cooper of Kansas, and Winter Jean Desruisseau of Tulsa.


Mary wanted to give a special thank you to her friend, Dr. Thomas Merrill, and his nurse, Pam Levy.  She also wanted to thank her hairdresser, Doris Musgrave.


A Requiem Mass and Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 235 W. Duffy St, Norman, with the Rev. James Detrich presiding.  An Inurnment Service for family will follow in the Chapel of the Resurrection, with a reception afterward in the Parish Hall.


Mary requests memorial contributions be made to St. John’s Outreach Program or to the Salvation Army or “do a good deed for a stranger”.



Memorial Service
March 4, 2023

2:00 PM
St. John's Episcopal Church
235 W. Duffy
Norman, OK


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