Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — Louise H. Allen, 95, died Tuesday (July 28, 2020) in Champaign.

She was born on May 30, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo., to Lewis Jewell Hatch and Grace Frazer Hatch. She married Joseph H.D. Allen in Kansas City on Oct. 6, 1956.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Virginia Martin Hawkins; husband; and stepson, David K. Allen.

She is survived by two daughters, Rebecca E. Allen of Tacoma, Wash., and Louise A. Shearer of Houston, Texas; two stepsons, Joseph D. Allen of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Andrew E. Allen of Portland, Ore.; and four stepgrandchildren.

She was educated in the public schools of Kansas City and graduated from William Woods College in Fulton, Mo., the University of Kansas in Lawrence (with B.A. and M.A. degrees) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (with a Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics). At the University of Kansas, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was president of the Lambda Chapter of the Chi Omega sorority. She did postdoctoral work at the University of Santander in Spain and at the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard University.

During her career, she held faculty positions at Blackburn College in Carlinville, UIUC, Sangamon State University in Springfield (now the University of Illinois at Springfield) and Parkland College in Champaign. She also served in a variety of educational administrative positions: chair of the Communications Division at Parkland, dean of education services at Sangamon State and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo.

She was for many years a member of the board of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, for which she did extensive work in college accreditation. She served on test development teams for the Educational Testing Service and on the board of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, for which she participated in designing programs of evaluation for experiential learning. She published articles on linguistics and on various aspects of educational evaluation and academic administration.

After she retired, she served as a trustee of both the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District and the Champaign Public Library. She served each of those institutions as vice president and chair of the Personnel Committee, and played a supervisory role in the planning and construction of the Illinois Terminal in Champaign and the current Champaign Public Library building. She also served on the board of Blackburn College, where she chaired the Academic Services Committee.

She was a member of the League of Women Voters of Champaign County for over 50 years. She served on the board of the Illinois League and was a member of various national league committees.

She was a member of the Women’s Legacy Circle, the Auxiliary, and the Margaret Carle Society of the Carle Hospital Foundation in Urbana. She was a member of the board of the Alzheimer's Association’s Champaign chapter, for which she facilitated informational meetings and support groups for the families and caretakers of Alzheimer's victims.

A firm believer in lifelong learning, she was an enthusiastic member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UIUC and participated in many courses and study groups there. She was a member of the Urbana Rotary Club and served on its Program and Ways and Means committees. She belonged to the Marquee Circle of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and for several years sponsored the Debut Artists Program, a joint undertaking of the Krannert and the UIUC music department.

She was also a member of the Fortnightly Club, a women’s group dating back to the 19th century, for which she did an annual presentation on topics as varied as the sonnet and women’s suffrage. She was an accomplished knitter. She enjoyed gardening, especially raising roses.

She read widely, even after macular degeneration forced her to switch to audiobooks. She enjoyed traveling with her family in the U.S., Mexico and Europe, and for the first year of their marriage she and her husband lived in Taxco, Mexico.

In light of the restrictions on travel and gatherings currently imposed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the League of Women Voters, the University of Illinois Foundation or the Alzheimer's Association.

Morgan Memorial Home is assisting with arrangements. Condolences may be made at morganmemorialhome.com.