TAMPA, Fla. — Susan Leigh Allen, 58, passed away Nov. 19, 2009, at Tampa General Hospital after battling sepsis. Susan was born to Nancy “Ruth” and Frank Ainsworth on May 17, 1951, in Logan, Utah. She was the first of a family of three other sisters and one brother.
Early in her life, her family settled in Sheridan, Wyo., where she became loved and admired throughout her community. She left Sheridan to pursue a degree in English and attend the University of Wyoming in Laramie after high school. There she met and fell in love with her future husband, William “Bill” Arthur Allen. After Bill graduated, they moved to Denver, where they married on Nov. 2, 1973, and began to raise a family.
After the birth of her son Joshua and daughter Alexandra, she tried for many years to carry a third child through a full pregnancy. Unfortunately this was not to be, however, she pursued many avenues of adoption which concluded with the successful adoption of her second daughter, Katherine. Susan remained home to raise her children and became essential in groups involved in her children’s schools, church and social programs. Even though she kept herself active, she never sacrificed time for her family.
In the summer of 1991, William’s career moved the family to Ghana, West Africa, as he took a senior management position for a gold mine. Challenging as this move was, Susan maintained a functional and happy home while ensuring her whole family took advantage of all the possibilities and education living overseas offers. While making new friends and continuing to engage in her children’s education, religious groups and women’s groups, she remained in close contact with the lifetime of friends she had cultivated in America.
The family returned to The United States in the summer of 1997 and settled in Billings. Susan remained a gracious and generous figure to all she called friends as her children began to leave the nest. As in all the other times in her life, Susan maintained a warm and bright home while becoming active in social groups around the Billings area.
Due to deteriorating complications with diabetes, Susan was diagnosed with rapid kidney failure in 1999. Her sister Janet was loving and gracious by donating a kidney to her sister just before the turn of the Millennia. She maintained good health with this new lease on life, and continued to bless her family and friends. However, hard times came with the unexpected death of her husband in August of 2003. While it was a difficult time for her personally, she maintained a warm presence for her children and family when they were around her.
Unfortunately, her health continued to deteriorate throughout the years to the point where she moved to Gainesville, Fla., in March of 2009 to live with her son Joshua and his daughter Brianna. There, she set about to set up all the necessary steps needed to repair her ankle that was damaged in 2007. During this process, she developed a series of infections in which she was hospitalized. Ultimately, along with further complications, she was overcome with infections. However, up to the time of her death, she continued to be active, loving and generous to her family and friends.
Susan is survived by her mother Nancy “Ruth” Ainsworth; her children, Joshua, Alexandra and Katherine; her granddaughter Brianna; her sisters, Janet, Christy and Laurie; and her brother Jeff. Not to mention all the many other souls she had touched throughout the years and across oceans.
A memorial service will be held at the Faith Evangelical Church located at 3145 Sweet Water Drive, Billings, at 10 a.m. on Dec. 19.
In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a memorial for the future education of her grandchildren.