Mary Selig Allen passed away on March 9, 2021, at 90 years of age. She was born in Lawrence, KS to John Selig and Agnes Jost Selig on July 10, 1930. She is survived and loved by her husband of 67 years, Judge Adrian James Allen, daughter Mrs. Cynthia Richardson of Mission Hills, KS; son Dr. Roger James Allen and grandchildren Holly Allen and Finnian Allen of Seattle, WA.
Mary was a graduate of Liberty Memorial HS in Lawrence (’48) and a fourth-generation graduate from the University of Kansas, earning a BS in Education in 1952. While at KU she was a member of Delta Delta Delta social sorority and inductee to Omicron Nu and Pi Lambda Theta honor societies. She first worked as a vocational home economics teacher in Concordia, KS and Topeka. On June 27, 1953 she married Adrian, a USMC Captain freshly returned from Korea, and they lived together for the remainder of her life in Topeka. She enjoyed a 30 year career (‘65–‘95) as a secretary in both the Kansas State Senate and House of Representatives, where she served as Administrative Aide to both the House Majority Leader for two years and the Joint Committee on Special Claims Against the State for ten years.
She had many substantive politically active years and is listed in Who’s Who in American Politics. Her service was extensive - Vice-President, Kansas Democratic Club (’62-’63); Vice-Chair, Second Congressional District Democratic Committee (’60-’64); Vice-Chair, Shawnee County Democratic Central Committee (’60-’70); Secretary (’64-’65) and Vice-Chair (’65-’75), Kansas State Democratic Committee; and Member of the Democratic National Committee in 1975. Notably, she became a part of American political history as a Kansas Delegate for Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey at the infamous 1968 Democrat National Convention in Chicago.
Throughout her actively engaged life of community service, she donated considerable time and energy to serve as President of the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas (’69); President of the Topeka Bar Association Auxiliary; member of the Lutheran Home Association Board; President of the Board of Directors of Brewster Place; President of the Delta Delta Delta House Corporation of KU; and member of the First Congregational Church in Topeka and of its Board of Deacons. She also served with the Friends of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and was a Trustee of the Library’s Foundation.
Mary Allen will be remembered as an amazingly strong woman who lived a great, full life. Literally a colorful person who treasured the many friendships she shared and who enjoyed tremendous pleasure from renewing her home decorations for the holidays of each season, having tea parties with her grandchildren, and deriving much of her happiness from giving to others. What she cherished most was her family.
She will be missed, but always remembered. Thanks for the sunflowers, Mary!
In lieu of flowers, the family requests remembrances be made as donations to The Library Foundation, 1515 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66604; https://foundation.tscpl.org, or First Congregational Church, 1701 Collins Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66604; https://embracethequestions.com.
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