Marian Ann (Olson) Allen, beloved mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother, passed on to her heavenly home on March 22, 2021 at age 96.
Private funeral services are planned with a celebratory memorial to be held at a later date.
Marian is the last of her generation to survive among her husband Pac’s immediate Allen family members, and is survived on her family’s Olson side by a brother and sister-in-law, Max and Marilyn Olson of Monticello. Her six children include Maribeth (Shaukat) Khan, Mark (Linda) Allen, Kathy (Larry) Tombaugh, Lisa Allen, Tim (Jodi) Allen and Andy (Linda) Allen. Fifteen grandchildren (also 1 deceased) and to date 17 great-grandchildren live to honor her memory.
She was born on May 25, 1924 to Charles and Grace Olson, the fifth in line of their seven children. The family lived and farmed at White Heath near Monticello, IL. Marian was a talented coloratura soprano who, from an early age, sang with two of her sisters on a radio program and at area events. She graduated with a vocal degree from Millikin University and taught music for several years in Monticello and DelandWeldon Schools before marrying Pascal (Pac) E. Allen, a farmer from Green Valley. Together, they raised a family of six children, all of whom they put through college at the University of Illinois.
Marian was a loving and devoted wife and mother who always workedto see that her children had opportunities to learn and expand their horizons beyond what was available in a rural community. She created a lovely, welcoming home and was a most gracious hostess. In addition to their own children, Marian and Pac opened their home to year-round visits from two foreign exchange students, Maria Helena Cotrim from Brazil and Till Neuman from Germany.
Marian was a longtime member of the Delavan 1st Presbyterian Church where she sang and served as soloist in the church choir as well as serving for years in a number of volunteer capacities. After her husband Pac passed away in 1997, she eventually moved to Mason City and attended the United Presbyterian Church there.
In addition to a large garden (and the abundant freezing and canning of its produce) and raising chickens to feed her family, Marian was also known for her persistent attempts to turn their sandhill farm into an oasis of beauty, with roses, iris and lilacs part of her favorites.
Among Marian’s talents, those as cook/baker and seamstress were legendary among family members and those lucky enough to partake. Her pies, cakes, cookies and breads were top-of-the-line as was her knack for outfitting her 3 girls and creating artistic items for her home. In midlife, she taught herself to make beautiful quilts for her home and family that are treasured items still today. Each son and daughter received a hand-sewn, full-size quilt or two, and each grandchild did also. Even into her mid-nineties, while in the Mason City nursing home, she was still creating individual star pattern blocks with the message, “Follow the star…wise men still do.”