Cover photo for Joann Allen's Obituary
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1932 Joann 2020

Joann Allen

November 15, 1932 — May 24, 2020

Joann Allen 11-15-1932 to 05-24-2020-Age 87.5 Jo was born in Lovington, NM to Charles Forrester and Lois Novell Taylor Forrester Reed.  She moved to Seagraves, Texas at an early age.  She was diagnosed as a brittle type I diabetic at age 14 but probably had it at age ten. (When she died, she was one of the last longest living diabetics in the nation with 74 years and possibly 77 years being a diabetic. She also was not supposed to live that long.)  Jo was a sweet child and loved animals.  Supposedly dogs would follow her home from school.  She was also a fearless horsewoman doing tricks (standing etc.) on the back of her beloved horse Apache. Jo graduated from Seagraves High School in 1949 and then went to Draughn’s Business College in Lubbock, Texas.  She finished school and returned to Seagraves to work at Hearne Motor Freight.

Joann married the love of her life, Leon Allen on November 1, 1953.  They married on Sunday instead of Saturday 10/31/1953, because she didn’t want Leon to be able to say he married a witch.  She had a great sense of humor.  Then a year later, against doctor advice, she had Linda Joanna. They both barely survived.

They lived in Seagraves, moved to Lindsey, Okla. for a year and returned to Seagraves.  Then Jo began working for Belcher’s Insurance Agency until they moved to Amarillo, Tx in 1985, where she worked for Ordway-Saunders Ins. Co. until she retired in 1997.

Jo lived each day to the fullest.  She made most of Joanna’s clothes in high school and college, taught 4H classes on sewing and cooking, and learned how to decoupage and made lovely purses for gifts.  Jo made special food dishes for all occasions or events and loved to entertain.  She made Christmas special for all family members, whether it was a gift or their favorite food.

Joann was an avid bridge player since in her 30’s.  Then later she also played complicated duplicate bridge.  At one time after they moved to Amarillo, she played bridge 3 times a week.  Her bridge playing only slowed down to monthly games with their dear friends the Burrs the last 3 years.

Jo was a member of the 12th Street Church of Christ in Seagraves and then the Southwest Church of Christ in Amarillo.  She loved the ladies’ classes, services and special events.  She also had good friends there.  As her health changed, she missed attending church services.

Along with bridge Jo and Leon also traveled a great deal; cruises, vacations, and lots of trips in their RV, which also often included family members, especially Jo’s mother.  Once on a cruise in their 70’s, they went on a zipline through the Panama jungle.

Jo has been called gracious, sweet, an angel on earth, friendly, happy, full of joy and precious.  She made you feel special and loved.  She didn’t have to say I Love You, but you knew when she looked at you with those beautiful brown eyes and smiled, she did, especially Leon.  She was Joanna’s cheerleader and mentor.

Jo was a model diabetic, only eating what she should-no sugar or gravy. She walked regularly, however, her diabetes and numerous falls and surgeries took their toll on her.  She also had Alzheimer’s due to low blood sugars depriving her brain of food.  This last fall and broken kneecap, Leon being unable to be her cheerleader due to the Covid-19 and no visits at rehab led to her demise. She is finally at peace.

Jo is preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, younger sisters-Billie Jean Reed and Lane Adams, aunts, uncles, cousins/other relatives, and friends (what a reunion).  She is survived by her husband of 66.5 years, Leon Allen; daughter and son-in-law Joanna/Tim Jones of Houston; sisters-Charlene Day of Rotan, Tx and Earlene Malcolm of Houston; 5 nieces and nephews; 11 great nieces and nephews and 7 great-great nieces and nephews and numerous cousins in Lubbock, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Albuquerque, NM, and Seattle, Wa.

Due to COVID-19 there will not be a memorial service.  Burial will be in the Seagraves Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your local American Diabetes Assoc.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joann Allen, please visit our flower store.


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