Lochie Jo Allen of Front Royal, VA, formerly of Augusta, GA, and Roxbury, NY, died at her home in Front Royal, VA on February 10, 2014.
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Born January 24, 1918, in Arkville, NY, she was the daughter of J.W. Allen and Mattie Jo Linkous Allen.
She attended school in Owego, NY, but spent her senior year in Roxbury, NY, graduating with a College Entrance Regents Diploma in 1934 with the highest four-year average. She received a B.S. in Education and an A.B. in Latin from Radford State Teachers College, Radford, VA, now Radford University; and through VA state exams, she was certified in Band and Orchestra, and Public School Music. She received an M.A. in English from the University of Georgia in 1956 and took other graduate courses in School Law and Administration. She attended the University of Maryland in a doctoral program in English, completing all courses for a Ph.D. but decided not to continue.
She taught English, Latin, French, German, and public school music in secondary schools, and held positions in the English Departments of Augusta College, American University, and the University of Georgia, teaching not only composition but American, English, European, Asiatic, and World literatures.
Miss Allen was an Educational Specialist for the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon, outside of Augusta, 1961-1964, but returned to teaching. Her final nine years of employment were with the American Fisheries Society (an international scientific organization) in Washington D.C., and subsequently in Bethesda, MD. Work included beginning and editing Fisheries (the society's international magazine), putting out the weekly diary, brochures, annual membership directories, and special publications, and keeping liaison with advertisers, film companies, and printers. On her own, she edited two scientific books of international concern, was a member of the panel of the National Society of Technical Communication for judging science publications, and contributed to the Council of Biology Editors Journal.
She was offered a NY State Regents Scholarship at Radford, but because she was in an out-of-state college, it was withdrawn. At Radford, she had the highest four-year-average, but the commencement honors---for the first time---were based on faculty vote, student vote, and grade. She was elected to the national honor societies Kappa Delta Pi and Pi Gamma Mu, and was the president of Sodalitas Latina.
Before her teens, she played for Sunday School. Her sister and she played flute and piccolo with the Triple Cities Traction Company Symphonic Band (Binghamton, Enditcott, Johnston City) under the direction of the well-known Frank Tei. This band was composed of 65 men and the two Allen sisters, and played over the radio every Sunday.
Miss Allen continued with positions as organist and choir director for churches and director for many choral groups. She organized, directed, and accompanied "The Holiday Singers," six girls, four boys (teenagers), an amateur-turned-professional group who sang for nursing and retirement homes, the jail, civic clubs and other organizations. Appropriate dresses were made by Miss Allen's mother and another mother. Boys used white laced shirts with black slacks, vests, and bow ties, but red velvet vests at Christmas. All of these young people continued with music, some as full careers.
She was taught piano by her mother, choral work by Paul Hart of the Westminster Choir School, and later trained under Fred Waring. She sang in the large Augusta Choral Society for years and was the auditioner for those who became members.
She produced several operettas, cantatas, and plays, and wrote four plays and a television show that her students performed. She published two books: A Later Appointment, Please, and Seven Decades + of "How Come?" Another was ready for publishing, Under My Desk Blotter. She lectured on reading and writing poetry and on several areas of literature. Through her deep study of literature, she was especially interested in certain subjects in, and associated with, extra-sensory perception, and lectured frequently on them and the status of such research.
Her cremated remains will be buried next to her mother and sister in Sunset Cemetery, Christiansburg, VA in a private ceremony at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Roxbury Ambulance Fund, Roxbury, NY 12474.
Arrangements have been made by Turner-Robertshaw Funeral Home, Front Royal, VA.
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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Mar. 1, 2014