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Obituary of Mary Norine Allen
Mary Norine Allen, 89, passed away of age-related heart failure on February 12, 2023, in Olympia, Washington. She was born November 23, 1933, to Benedict and Kathyrn Dieringer in Chehalis, Washington.
She met her beloved husband, Dave, at a Catholic Alumni function at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle in October of 1960. Dave took the ferry nightly from Bremerton to Seattle to see Norine, and they were married at St. Monica’s Catholic Church on Mercer Island on April 8, 1961. They lived in California for 12 years after their marriage, where they had two children, Clyde and Theresa.
Rooted in Washington, Mary grew up on the family farm in Toledo, Washington, graduated from the St. Peter Hospital nursing school in Olympia, lived in different locations around the West early in her career, before returning to Olympia where she spent the last 50 years. Between Toledo and settling in Olympia, her residences included Seattle, Douglas, Arizona, and the California cities of Corde Madeira, Novato, and Camarillo. In each of these locales, she made lasting friendships.
Mary graduated in 1951 from St. Mary’s Academy in Toledo, and in 1955 from St. Peter Hospital School of Nursing in Olympia. She held several short appointments as a Registered Nurse at Olympia’s St. Peter Hospital, Seattle’s Providence Hospital, Phelps Dodge Hospital in Douglas, Arizona, and Camarillo State Hospital, in Camarillo, California. She settled at Olympia’s St. Peter Hospital in April 1973 and worked there until her retirement in October 1993. Mary paused her nursing career from April 1961 to November 1972 to be a homemaker. She wanted her children to have the best start in life and dedicated herself to exactly that.
Mary will be remembered for her kindness and dedication. She was persistent, precise, and reliable in all that she did. These qualities are typified by many experiences she had while working at St. Peter Hospital. At one time, there were two nurses and a doctor living on Mary’s street and, if the weather was inclement (i.e., the roads were covered with snow) and these medical professionals could not get to the hospital, the hospital would send a security person over to transport them, because their work was so vital.
Humorously, she was also known for precisely measuring her food, whether preparing a dish for the crock-pot or preparing coffee, everything was measured and mixed according to the directions.
She was very organized and maintained a Christmas card schedule until the last years of her life, getting cards in the mail shortly after Thanksgiving each year. She always enjoyed hearing back from those friends, near and far, and displayed their cards and letters well past the holiday season.
For several years after retirement, Mary attended a monthly lunch meeting with her nursing colleagues, who were also her dear friends. She volunteered at The Attic Shop, a charity thrift store. She also took on several projects around the house, as well as investigating the family genealogy. She often commented that she was so busy, she didn’t know how she had ever found time to work.
Mary loved being a wife, mother, and grandmother, creating many wonderful memories as her family grew over the years. She valued education and emphasized the importance of education and learning for her children and grandchildren. It was a special delight to her to meet her great-grandchildren in person after many Zoom meetings.
With Dave, Mary enjoyed playing the game of bridge and remained active in several groups throughout her life. She also enjoyed a good visit to Mt. Rainier, and regular visits to Paradise were a part of her earlier years. Other hobbies included bowling, golf, sewing, and embroidering. Until about the age of 80, she was a “regular” at a local gym, and the staff all knew her.
Mary was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks (aka B.P.O.E. or the Elks) Lodge 186 and served as chaplain for a few years. A Mariner and Seahawks fan, she enjoyed gathering with other Elks to enjoy the games. She was a consistent member of the Elks’ “Seahawks Club” until her health failed, cheering on her team, and enjoying the company of other Elks.
Prayer was a major part of Mary’s life, providing solace and strength. Every day, she prayed for every member of her family, for both practical and spiritual blessings. She stuck to a regular routine praying the rosary and a book of prayer cards every day. She loved God and sought communion with Him.
She is survived by her son, Clyde Allen (Maryann); daughter, Theresa Allen; grandchildren, Jeff (Roshni), Chris, and Laura; great-grandchildren, Raina and River; and brother, Paul Dieringer (Gloria). She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, David N. Allen; parents, Benedict and Kathyrn Dieringer; grandparents; brother, Gordon Dieringer (Cecelia); and special cousins, Michael and Patrick Darcy, who grew up on the family farm after they became orphaned and were taken in by Mary’s parents.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on March 24, 2023, 12:00 p.m. at St. Michael Parish, 1208 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501.
Mass will be live-streamed at https://youtube.com/c/saintmichaelparish
Memorial donations may be made to St. Michael Parish and B.P.O.E. Lodge 186.
The Allen family is grateful for all of the expressions of love and support.
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