March 15, 1941-March 27, 2018
Mary Margaret Oehlert (Maurer) Allen was born March 15, 1941, in Camden, N.J., the second child of Ann Cochran and John Oehlert, and passed away peacefully at home March 27, 2018.
Funeral services will be Friday, March 30 at 2 p.m. at Southern Funeral Home, Winnfield, with interment to follow at Sanders Chapel in Calvin. The family will accept visitors at Southern Funeral Home Thursday, March 29 from 5-8 p.m.
In the early 1950s, Mary’s family relocated to Miami, Fla., where she lived throughout her teens and early 20s. At age 17, to seek treatment for a rare form of breast cancer, Mary fought for and won emancipation from her parents; exhibiting the fierce determination and indomitable spirit she carried with her throughout her life.
Following her 1959 graduation from Miami (Fla.) High School, Mary worked as a receptionist at the luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel for a brief period prior to returning to her native Camden. Upon returning to Camden she met and married Kenneth Maurer. The couple had two daughters, Mary Maurer Gallien and Nancy Maurer Rieckmann. Following her divorce from Mr. Maurer, Mary worked as a medical records technician at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. It was there that she met Dr. Jerry Lee Allen, a post-doctoral student from Calvin who was conducting research in immunology.
Upon agreeing to wed Dr. Allen in the summer of 1970, the couple relocated to Natchitoches where Dr. Allen accepted a position as a professor of Microbiology at Northwestern State University. Mary took work as a medical records technician, holding positions at Natchitoches Parish Hospital and for several private physicians in the area.
Dr. and Mrs. Allen continued to grow their family, adding Kathy, Jerry and Becca, along with a multitude of family pets.
Mary enjoyed volunteering, serving as a founding member of the Natchitoches Kennel Club, sewing assistant and chaperone for the Natchitoches Majorettes, Girl Scout Troop leader for Mary and Nancy, and softball coach for Kathy and Becca. It was herein that Mary found her true passion, serving as head or assistant softball coach for the Dixie Youth organization for over a decade. A natural leader, Mary served on the board of directors for Dixie Youth, ultimately serving a term as league commissioner. During her time coaching in the league, girls’ teams consistently finished in the top echelons of state tournaments, and the 1994 Debs team, for which her youngest, Becca played, won the Dixie Softball World Series. The Allens were ardent supporters of the sport, and could often be found in the bleachers cheering on the Natchitoches Central Lady Chiefs or the Northwestern State Lady Demons, even long after Becca had graduated from the schools.
In addition to her volunteer roles, Mary was an avid genealogical researcher, tracing the Allen and Oehlert family trees back several centuries. A lifelong learner, she studied as an emergency medical technician, and through her love of reading amassed a sizeable library of classical and contemporary literature.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Ann Cochran and John Oehlert.
She is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Jerry Lee Allen; daughters, Mary Gallien, Nancy Rieckmann and husband Dirk and Kathy Fulton and husband Chuck, all of Auburndale, Fla.; son, Jerry L. Allen II and wife Anna of Lincoln, Calif.; daughter, Becca Allen of New Orleans; sisters, Barbara Oehlert and Sandra Mercurio; brothers, William H. “Bill” Witcraft and Benjamin Merker; grandchildren, Justin Mitchell (Laci), Taylor Gallien, Amanda Fulton, Alyssa Phan, Gunnar Allen and Calvin Allen; great-grandchildren, Jaxon Mitchell, Kellyn Mitchell, Ayden Beason, Kender Beason and Carson Gallien; along with a host of loving extended family and friends; as well as her “girls,” the many young women she inspired and influenced during her time as a softball coach.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Northwestern State University Womens’ softball team, care of NSU Alumni Association at http://www.northwesternstatealumni.com; Natchitoches Happy Tails, care of Natchitoches Humane Society at http://www.natchitocheshumane.com; or Shriners Hospital for Children at https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shreveport.