Allene Joan Kirchner passed away peacefully on December 14, 2013 in Bellingham. Allene, the daughter of Alfred and Vandella Rue, was born on July 3, 1925 in Bellingham. She grew up in Happy Valley above the family grocery store with siblings Kenneth, Maurie, and Joyce. Allene attended the University of Washington as a Kappa Alpha Theta and following graduation moved to San Francisco where she worked as a writer and editor for McGraw Hill Publishing. She met her husband, Stewart Wayne Kirchner, in San Francisco. They married within two months of meeting and left for Spain where Stewart pursed his doctorate. Allene and Stewart spent 10 years living abroad in Spain, France and Germany where their children Douglas, Diane and Jan were born. Allene and Stewart returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1960 and raised their family in Palo Alto, later moving back to Bellingham in 1970. Allene worked in education throughout her life. She started her teaching career working with adults learning English as a second language who were earning their GED and then later started Whatcom County's first Early Childhood Program. Allene was an avid tennis player and golfer, and held literature, music and bridge as life-long passions. She was a member of Monday Club and served on the board of the Whatcom Symphony. She traveled extensively throughout her life - always returning from one trip to begin planning the next. She is survived by her loving family - Douglas, Martina and grandson Xiao from New York; Diane and David from Camano Island, grand-daughter Ali and husband Neil from Livermore. California; Jan from Corvallis, and grandchildren Kelsey, Alec, Cody and his wife Serena, and her first great grandchild, Isabelle. Her husband, Stewart, preceded her in death in 1986. Allene was surrounded by her family in the last weeks of her life, all sharing in the joy of reminiscing her well lived 88 years. There will be no memorial service. The family is deeply appreciative of the grace and care she received at Hospice House.
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Dec. 17, 2013