N. Jeanne Allen
September 18, 1928 - June 10, 2021
September 18, 1928 – June 10, 2021
Jeanne Allen was born Norma Jeanne Gregory in Akron, Ohio. She passed away peacefully in Vancouver, WA after a month-long illness.
Jeanne moved with her parents, Paul and Marie Gregory, to Oregon as a teenager where she worked in the family restaurant before graduating from Roseburg High School.
Her 1946 marriage to James Sims produced two daughters but ended in 1956. She then moved her young family to Portland where they lived with her cousin Bernice who was like a sister to her. Attaining her radiology technologist certification at Good Samaritan Hospital, she worked as an x-ray technician for a few years in Portland and then for many years in Salem. She met and married Charles “Chuck” Allen and relocated to Pioneer Park neighborhood of rural West Salem in 1962. She lived for 56 years in the home that Chuck built, filling it with art and souvenirs from a lifetime of world travel, and lovingly tending the gardens of the unique and beautiful property. When the upkeep became too much for her, she relocated to the independent living retirement community of Touchmark at Fairway Village in Vancouver and lived there from 2018 until her passing.
Throughout her life she enjoyed and mastered many textile crafts. She was an excellent seamstress sewing her own and her daughters’ clothes, knitting, quilt making and weaving. Other passions were cooking/baking, cross country skiing, home decorating and reading murder mysteries. As a youth, her family made several cross-country car trips and frequently took long drives to tour the Eastern US. Late in life, she made five full “around the world” trips and ventured to six continents visiting many countries more than once.
Jeanne’s grandchildren have fond memories of family holiday gatherings (notably the Easter egg hunts) and summer days spent at her West Salem home, baking cookies, playing in the woods, and helping with yard work. Jeanne cherished the special friendships that she maintained throughout her life, including former classmates, Pioneer Park and Spring Valley neighbors, Salem Hospital colleagues and Second Winders of the Salem First United Methodist Church.
Jeanne is preceded in death by both of her husbands, her longtime travel partner Cecil Van Kleek, her beloved cousin Bernice Eng (Portland), and her younger brother, Galen Gregory (Carson City, NV). She is survived by her two daughters, Jennifer Sims (Vancouver) and Cynthia Kendoll (Salem); her great-grandson, Leo Kendoll (Portland) and her niece, Cheryl Mayne (Carson City, NV). There will be a private service and burial at Spring Valley Church.
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