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Abigail Van Allen


Abigail Van Allen Obituary
Abigail Halsey Van Allen, 86 died Sept. 8, 2008, in Iowa City, Iowa, where she had lived since 1951.
She was a beloved and revered member of the Iowa City community who touched many people's lives.
Born Abigail Fithian Halsey II on Aug. 9, 1922, in Southampton, N.Y., she spent summers there in a Halsey family home and swam daily in Peconic Bay. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from the Lotspeich and Hillsdales schools of Cincinnati. She graduated with the Class of 1944 at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., where she was a founding member of the V-8's acappella group. After college, she worked at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Silver Springs, Md., where she met her future husband, James A. Van Allen.
After a short courtship, they married Oct. 13, 1945, in Southampton, N.Y., in a service officiated by her father, Jesse Halsey, a Presbyterian minister.
She was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, James A. Van Allen, who died Aug. 9, 2006.
Survivors include Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner of New York, N.Y., her husband Robert T. Schaffner and their daughter Hilary Schaffner; Margot Van Allen Cairns of West Vancouver, B.C., Can., and her husband Andy Cairns and children Andrew and Elizabeth Cairns; Sarah Van Allen Trimble of Washington, D.C., and her husband Gerald R. Trimble; Thomas Halsey Van Allen of Aspen, Colo., and his wife Lois Smith Brady and children William and Charles Van Allen; and Peter C. Van Allen of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and his wife Jennifer Goldblatt Van Allen and daughters Kate and Phoebe Van Allen.
She was valued member of Hiking Club, University Club, P.E.O.-Chapter E, E.O.S., Raphael Club, Physics Wives and Newcomers Club. Over the years, she was an advocate for retaining open spaces and the preservation of landmark buildings. She was involved in the effort to preserve Old Capitol and Old Brick, and was an early advocate of Project Green.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m., at the Levitt Center for University Advancement, the University of Iowa Foundation, at One West Park Road in Iowa City.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to the University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550.
Online condolences may be sent for her family through the Web at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service of Iowa City are caring for her family and services.

Published in the Press-Citizen on Sept. 10, 2008
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