Kathryn Bailey Allen passed away on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Kathryn was born March 4, 1917 in Chisholm, Texas, to William Marvin and Florence Shook Bailey. She was raised in Forney until the family moved to Tyler in 1930, where her father continued his private medical practice and co-founded Mother Frances Hospital. Kathryn graduated from Tyler High School in 1934 and earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Texas in 1938. She married George Bolten Allen in August 1939, and the devoted couple enjoyed 54 years together until his passing in 1993. Kathryn was a school teacher and clinical assistant, helping support the family as George completed his Army service during World War II, medical school, his internship and residency. They returned to Tyler in 1947, where George entered into private practice.
Kathryn was a 64-year cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and undergoing treatment in 1948. Despite many medical setbacks, including scarlet fever as a child and breast cancer later in her life, she never complained or slowed down, and always kept a positive attitude. Kathryn continued to serve others by joining the Smith County Medical Society Auxiliary (now the Medical Alliance) and was instrumental in founding its annual book fair, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for health career scholarships. She was the first recipient of the Medical Alliance's Heart of Gold Award, recognizing her outstanding community service.
Over the years Kathryn volunteered with numerous other worthy organizations, including the Salvation Army, People Attempting to Help (PATH), Goodwill Industries, Meals on Wheels, United Methodist Women and the Junior League of Tyler. She received the Junior League's Gertrude Buckley Windsor Sustainer Award, recognizing her continued service in an outstanding capacity to the community. Kathryn was a valued congregant of Marvin United Methodist Church, where she worshipped for more than 80 years and cherished being a member of the Century Class.
Among her many skills, Kathryn avidly hunted and fished. She was the best shot in the family and could field dress a deer like no one else. She always cleaned what she shot or caught and then cooked it up to the delight of family and friends. Kathryn's backyard was a sanctuary for her beloved birds and all wildlife. She loved the outdoors and took great pride in nurturing the flowers, bushes and trees in her yard.
Kathryn's life was all about giving back to the community and helping others. Into her nineties, she continued to take the time to visit others less fortunate than her and in need of companionship or spiritual guidance. She genuinely cared about people and what was going on in their lives. When you met her for the first time, she would put you at ease by trying to find out all she could about you, your family and what was important in your life.
Kathryn truly lived her life by John Wesley's Rules – do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. She always believed that each thing you do, no matter how small it may seem, makes a difference to someone.
Mama was the heart, soul, backbone and conscience of the Allen family. She taught her family many life lessons, but most importantly how to live with grace and humility, and die with dignity and courage.
She is survived by her daughter, Kathryn (Kay) Allen Nelson of Fort Worth; her son George B. (Bo) Allen, and his wife Carolyn, of Austin; four grandchildren – Kathryn E. Nelson of Houston, Michael L. Nelson, Jr. and his wife Amanda, of Dallas; Sean O. Allen, and his wife Jamie, of Raleigh, N.C.; and Khala C. Hart, and her husband Chad, of Fort Worth; as well as four great-grandchildren – Jourdan Hart, Caleb Hart, Avery Allen and Hannah Allen. She is also survived by her brother William M. Bailey of Slidell, LA, and was predeceased by her sister, Ruth Bailey Peters of Tyler. She leaves behind nieces, nephews, other relatives and countless friends who will miss her charming smile, engaging personality, sense of fun and impeccable memory.
Visitation with the family will be from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday, November 4, 2012 at Lloyd James Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday, November 5, 2012 at Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler, followed by a memorial service that begins at 2:00 pm at Marvin United Methodist Church. A reception will follow in Fellowship Hall of the church. In lieu of flowers, Kathryn has requested that donations be made to Marvin United Methodist Church, The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, People Attempting to Help (PATH) or the charity of one's choice.