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Marian Sample "Winkie" Allen

1926 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Marian Sample "Winkie" Allen Obituary
Marian "Winkie" Sample Allen

Belzoni - Marian "Winkie" Sample Allen, 92, of Belzoni, died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, January 8, at the Humphreys County Nursing Center.

Marian Roberta Sample was born October 16, 1926, in Louise, Mississippi to Eugene and Nellie Ellison Sample. The family moved to Belzoni when Winkie was in 8th grade. She joined the First Presbyterian Church that year and remained an active member, serving with the Women of the Church and as a Sunday School teacher from the 1960s until November 2016.

After graduating from Belzoni High School as Valedictorian, Winkie attended Belhaven College where she was voted Freshman Class Favorite. During wartime she was able to attend college for just one year, but made lifelong friends at Belhaven and lived out the mission expressed in its motto: "To serve, not to be served."

She remained in Jackson working as a bookkeeper until she was swept off her feet by William Henry "Bill" Allen. More accurately, she was helped to her feet when he found her on the sidewalk after her tumble down the stairs while running to catch the Greyhound Bus. Later, when Bill found her attempting to put out a kitchen fire at his twin sister's apartment, he decided she needed to be rescued. They were married on April 27, 1951, and shared a wonderful life together until his death in 1993. Together they built a home known for hospitality, happiness, and really great food.

Winkie will be profoundly missed and remembered for her kindness, her radiance, and her devotion to her Lord that was best expressed in joyful service. Her most extensive travel involved daily trips to the post office where she mailed funny notes and encouraging handwritten letters to friends around the globe. She was committed to a very private but passionate life of prayer, and once a name was added to her little prayer notebook it stayed there for life.

As one granddaughter said, "She found the good in every person she met, and she let them know it. She was one of a kind and demonstrated how to be, as she would say, 'perfectly content' in all circumstances."

With a genuine gift of making each person feel like they were her best friend, Winkie carried us through difficult seasons with her undivided attention, a listening ear, and often a caramel cake. Many of us were also under the impression that we were "her favorite child."

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her brother, Eugene Carter "Buddy" Sample.

Survivors include: son and daughter-in law, Bill and Kathy Allen of Belzoni; daughter and son-in-law, Betty and Nels Bergmark of West Lafayette, Indiana; daughter, Anne Allen of Decatur, Alabama; grandchildren, Buddy (Allison) Allen, Kate Rivers Allen, Brent (Lauren) Bergmark, TJ (Anna) Bergmark, Grace Allen; great-grandchildren, McCully, Rivers and Yeates Allen; Ashley, Layne and Liam Bergmark; Lilly and Marcus Lacey. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Myna Bain Sample; nieces and nephews, George (Rachel) Hart, Allen Hart, Lew (Mandy) Sample, Allison Sample; and her special caregiver and friend, Mary Ann Gordon.

A Reception, hosted by the Women of the Church, will be at the Allen family home on Saturday, January 12th, from 5:00-7:00pm. There will be a private burial at Belzoni City Cemetery under the direction of Mortimer Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Belzoni, at 2:15pm on Sunday, January 13th, with a Celebration Service immediately following at 3:00pm.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 73, Belzoni, MS 39038 or French Camp Academy, One Fine Place, French Camp, MS 39745 or Peru Missions - Hermès and Alleen McLain Tomás, P.O. Box 25912, Greenville, SC 29616.

The family would like to offer our sincere thanks to Drs. Mack and Carlton Gorton and to the entire staff of the Humphreys County Nursing Center for providing such exceptional, compassionate care.
Published in Clarion Ledger from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2019
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