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  • Writer's pictureTazzini Funeral Home

Shirley Jean (Samson) Allen

Shirley Jean (Samson) Allen was raised, along with her brother and sister, by a single mother during the Depression, in Marblehead, Massachusetts. After the early loss of her father, her mother scraped to keep her family together. Life was spare. One Christmas, Shirley's present was an orange.

Shirley died peacefully in the early minutes of Mothers' Day, May 12, at Wingate Nursing Home in Springfield, at the age of 93. Her primary goal in life was to provide a stable home for her own children, and to see that they did not want for any of life's necessities. This she achieved.

She married Frederick Goodwin Allen of Lynn, Massachusetts in 1949; they parted only on Frederick's death in 2005. They moved in 1955 with their two young sons to Springfield, where Fred taught at the High School of Commerce for thirty-three years. Shirley was primarily a homemaker, and she excelled in domestic arts, motivated by a sense of thrift born of her upbringing. She was a fine New England cook. She made her own dresses, and knitted hats and sweaters for family and friends. She dabbled successfully in oil painting and other arts and crafts, and her home was filled with antique furniture bought cheaply at flea markets and refinished by her and Fred. When the boys were a bit older, she went back to work as a clerk and bookkeeper, first at a local trucking company, and then for many years at the Springfield Teachers Credit Union.

The family enjoyed travel around New England in the summer, notably two weeks annually in a beach cottage in Provincetown, on Cape Cod. After retirement, the couple enjoyed trips to the Maine coast, and reunions of Fred's World War II company in cities and towns across the country.

Fred taught Shirley to love the Boston Red Sox in the 1940s, and she followed them faithfully to her last days.

Shirley was predeceased by her husband Frederick, and her brother Lance and sister Rita. She leaves her two sons, Frederick P Allen and his wife, Edith, of Arlington, Massachusetts, and Bruce D Allen, of Springfield; granddaughters Sara Franks-Allen and husband Andrew, of Lexington, Massachusetts, and Donna Wardenaar and husband Andrew, of Portland, Oregon; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express particular gratitude to Lisa Moyers of East Longmeadow for many years of care and friendship. A private burial was held at Hillcrest Park Cemetery. Please visit to sign Shirley’s guestbook.

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