Grace Lorraine (Romee) Allen, age 84, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, at St. Vincent’s Hospital, surrounded by family, relatives, and friends. Mom died from complications due to Melanoma. She kept a tender, gentle spirit through any pain and distress she endured. We know that she is in Heaven with God our Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Saint Mary, and her loved ones who have passed.
Mom was born July 24, 1928, to Carl and Eva (Streitmater) Romee at the Blue Creek homestead. The youngest of four children, she was delivered as a baby by her Aunt Lena Schneider. Grandma Eva Romee had two children, John and Margaret Jordan, from a previous marriage. Mom always corrected people when they asked if these were her half-brother and half-sister; “These were her brother and sister.” Mom spent her early years with her other sister, our Aunt Betty. Aunt Betty watched over Mom, defended her from rattlesnakes, skunks and any other trouble as they walked three miles to school, “swam” in Blue Creek, or worked at the Home Place. They spent much time at the Alice Hanson place, just up the creek. Mom ran track, was involved in 4-H and enjoyed the yearly School program. Much of the extended Streitmater family homesteaded in the same area of Blue Creek. Mom said these were some of her happiest memories.
At age 16, she moved to Billings to attend Lincoln (Senior) High School. She worked at Kresse’s and lived in an apartment while attending and graduating from Billings Senior High School.
Mom and Dad (Patrick M. Allen) met through an introduction by our Aunt Betty and Uncle Gilbert Allen, who were dating at the time. Grace and Pat, the “love of my life,” were married Nov. 7, 1947, at The Church of the Little Flower. They were married 59 years, until Dad’s death on Easter Sunday 2007. Mom and Dad had 10 children, and were proud to raise them on the South Side of Billings. Mom was an excellent cook, housekeeper, laundry maid, nurse, teacher, servant, secretary and caretaker for the family and many others in her life. She enjoyed a large garden every year, her apple trees, house plants and crocheting. Anyone who visited her was welcome at her table. Her cookies, pies, doughnuts, Parker House rolls, homemade dill pickles, jams, jellies, tomato sauce, chokecherry syrup, grape juice and candy have been enjoyed by countless friends, family, relatives and strangers. Many of her kids’ friends have become lifelong “adopted” children into her family. Mom was a die-hard Democrat, and supported them, one and all.
Mom was a devout Catholic Christian. Little Flower Catholic Church and School were home to her Marriage and to the Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, weddings and education of her children. She helped form Sacred Heart Guild, and together with the women of Little Flower, served Bazaar turkey dinners and funeral meals for many years. Mom’s faith, prayer and devotion to the Rosary and St. Mary got her through early years in marriage, when Dad was serving in WWII and Korea, and through Dad’s death, and Mom’s final years and days.
Mom was preceded in death by her parents; Dad (Patrick M. Allen); her brother and sister-in-law John and Ann (Miller) Jordan; her sister, Margaret (Jordan) Settle; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Gilbert Allen, Joe Allen, Donita Allen, Gladys Allen, Jack Smart; baby grandson, Matthew; baby great-granddaughter, Payton; and baby great-grandson, Colter.
Mom is survived by sister, Betty Allen of Billings, and many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews. She is survived by her 10 children and spouses: Connie Goodman (Gary), Kathy McIntyre (Mike), Jim Allen (Janice), Patsy Kahler (Jerry), Jeff Allen (Roxanne), Cindy Falk (Randy), Jerry Allen (Janine), Mark Allen (Shelly), Chris Allen (Elissa), Carla Heimbigner (Neil); 30 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and many family friends who adopted Mom as their own.
We would like to thank Mom’s Little Flower Church, Conoco Refinery and extended family and friends who have visited and been a constant source of support and friendship.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Little Flower Church (Mary Queen of Peace), The Smile Train or a Veterans’ charity.
Visitation will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Dahl Chapel. Vigil and Rosary will be Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. and Memorial Mass will be Saturday, May 4 at 10 a.m., all at Little Flower Church, 3411 Third Ave. S. Arrangements are in the care of Dahl Funeral Chapel and memories and condolences may be expressed at www.dahlfuneralchapel.com.