Rev. Kelly Sue Allen
1965 - 2016
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July 26, 1965 - June 5, 2016
The Rev. Kelly Sue Allen, Pastor of University Presbyterian Church, San Antonio since 2009, passed away Sunday morning, June 5, 2016, after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke on Friday afternoon. Kelly was loved by her congregation and throughout the San Antonio community, the other communities where she has served, and beyond. Kelly was ordained into ministry in 1992 and has served congregations in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, and Buckinghamshire, England. She was especially known for her strong leadership as a mentor, a teacher, and an advocate for social justice, practicing Christian hospitality and inclusiveness with individuals and groups in need of support and belonging in order to build community among strangers. Hers was a vibrant, joyous life of service.

Born in Boston, MA July 26, 1965, Kelly studied at Washington University, St Louis, MO (B.A.), Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and University of Birmingham, UK (MA). She has published in the Presbyterian Outlook, Journal for Preachers, Review of Faith and International Affairs, and she authored the small group manual for Mission Presbytery's Multicultural Youth Conference. She has served as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor for the Eden Theological Seminary (UCC); a member of the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team; a Volunteer Mediator in Buckinghamshire, UK; and on Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery's Committee on Ministry. She currently chairs the Immigration Task Force of Mission Presbytery and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. That group is a broad network of community organizations, faith networks and concerned individuals who came together in the summer of 2014, in partnership with RAICES in response to the large number of refugees arriving in Texas. Their work is especially focused on women and children seeking asylum here in the United States and continues.

Kelly and her husband, John Rezentes, were married in 1988 and have two children, Clare and David. She is survived by other family members, including her mother, Marlys Allen; her father, Thomas Allen and his wife, Joann; her brother, Adam Allen and his wife, Heather; and numerous nieces and nephews. Shortly after they were married, Kelly and John fostered many children from newborns to 17 years old.

Kelly will be missed deeply by her family and all whom she touched and remembered fondly. It brings comfort knowing that she was an organ donor, and her life will be continued in others.

A smaller, more intimate service will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8 at University Presbyterian Church. A public community service will be offered at 11:00 a.m. at Parker Chapel at Trinity University on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Please feel welcome at either opportunity to celebrate the Rev. Kelly Allen's life.

Contributions are appropriate to University Presbyterian Church, 300 Bushnell, San Antonio, TX 78212, Mission Presbytery , www.mission- and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition: https://interfaith

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Antonio Express-News on Jun. 7, 2016.
11:00 AM
Parker Chapel at Trinity University
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29 entries
June 4, 2019
You are greatly missed ! You would have been very concerned about the current state on the border with how undocumented people are being treated. Your work with the Inter-Faith Commission on Immigration was inspiring and transformational. Thank you for the life you lead and for the ministry that you shared with us all.
Rev. Peter E. Bauer Bulverde,TX
Peter Bauer
June 2, 2019
What a loss! Kelly always had a maturity way beyond her years, a wisdom, a sense of balance, AND of humor.
Greta Reed
June 13, 2016
Kelly had a large and positive influence on me in my teenage years in Ste. Genevieve in the early 90s. We shared many discussions as she led me and her then-foster-son Phil in our confirmation classes (I think we must have been her first students!). When I try to recall these discussions now I can sense the warmth, support, and personal growth I took from them. But one moment from a sermon stands out above all others:

One day Kelly stood before our congregation and outlined her opinion on the choice vs. nature debate that saturated discussion about gay rights back in those days. Her message of full and unwavering acceptance drew some criticism in our conservative community. But for me, an impressionable teenager, this was a moment in which the world as I knew it expanded, bright and shimmering. I was not gay but I struggled with the righteous contempt that surrounded this issue in our small town; it was so incongruent with the love and compassion I had learned as a Christian. The God that Kelly spoke of was so much bigger than this contempt, and my personal notions of humanity grew accordingly. I have thought about that moment many times over the years.

With gratitude,
Ryan H.
June 11, 2016
Clare, David and John,
We are so sorry for your loss. Kelly was one of my favorite Flynn Park Moms and lived by the values she preached. Clare, I was so glad you were in Emma's class and you Hula danced for us. David, you joined the family at that time and were an adorable little boy! When your mom was in a serious car accident, I was able to organize Flynn Parker parents to cook for your family every night. Kelly finally begged people to not bring more desserts but you guys ate well. John and Clare and David, we think of you every time we walk by your old St. Louis house and you are in our thoughts now. With sorrow and support,

Miggie Greenberg, Andrew, Emma and Hoben Rehfeld
Miggie Greenberg
June 11, 2016
June 10, 2016
It has taken me all afternoon to try to absorb the reality that our dear gifted, compassionate, imaginative, energetic Kelly is no longer here with us. We were classmates at Columbia Seminary, and she has always been a leader. It has been a joy to observe from a distance--mostly--how her ministry has unfolded and blossomed. I grieve not only for her family in this loss, but for her church family; for those beyond the boundaries of church on whose behalf she has advocated; but also for those still strangers who will be deprived of a future engagement with her. My heart goes out to all of you, and my prayers are with you.
Greta Reed
June 10, 2016
Rev. Kelly spoke in April at our women's retreat. I feel very fortunate to learn from her and get to know her. Prayers for her family and friends near and far.
Virginia Herrera
June 10, 2016
What a lovely soul, friend of strangers, the down-trodden, the often ignored and maligned.

May the good and Wise God grant you the perfect peace that passes all our human understanding.

You have fought the Good Fight!
Akyenaa Boadi
June 9, 2016
Even though I only met Kelly briefly while visiting my niece Gusti Newquist, I was blessed by her healing.
Jan Wilcox
June 9, 2016
My dear Aunt Kelly,you were easily one of the most thoughtful people I know. Your Great-Great Nieces and I will miss you ever so much. You did so much GOOD here on earth and you completed your assignment a lot sooner than any of us expected but you must have a duty to fulfill in heaven.
We are praying for Peace,Love,Joy and a sound mind for Clare, David and Uncle John. We love you all so much

and Sienna
Destiney McGee-Jones
June 8, 2016
Our thoughts have been with Kelly and her family since Sunday.... She has obviously touched many, many lives and will always be remembered.

Chris and Jerri Sponik
June 8, 2016
The world has lost a beautiful soul.
Karen Smith
June 8, 2016
There are never any words, only prayers. I did not know Kelly, but I remember UPC well and know how very much they loved all their Pastors. Surely Kelly and her family are recipients of the deep, abiding affection of University Presbyterian Church. I too shall stay in prayer for her family.
Doris Cannaday
June 7, 2016
You were such a lovely person. We are so sad that you are gone. You will be sincerely missed.

With deepest sympathy,

Victoria Gomez and Samuel T. York
Victoria Gomez
June 7, 2016
Our deepest sympathy to Kelly's family. What an exemplary life of Christian witness she lived.
Bonnie and Bill Wilkinson
June 7, 2016
Kelly was an inspiration to me and my children. We cried when she left our church. We cry today for a different reason. Fly high Kelly, fly high. You will never be forgotten.
Sandy Chadduck (Cobb)
June 7, 2016
Dear Marlys,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Your YMCA Family
June 7, 2016
Rev. Allen was a warm and wonderful human being and an outstanding pastor. She will be greatly missed.
Cathy Reilly
June 7, 2016
My condolences to the family.

Tim Liston
Tim Liston
June 7, 2016
Kelly's life was a continual witness to the power of the gospel! It was a gift to cross paths with her. Sending love and prayers to her family and to the UPC community in San Santonio.
Carol McDonald
June 7, 2016
When Kelly tries on the jacket.
I will never forget how you were in the world, and how you inspired. Thank you, Kelly Allen. You made me laugh.
Annie Rezentes
June 7, 2016
I'm so grateful to have known Kelly. She truly was "grace in skin."
Donna Neilson
June 7, 2016
She changed my life, helped me to "grow up" and celebrated my gifts for ministry, she preached my ordination sermon and always prompted me to be and do better. Gaping hole left behind.
June 7, 2016
Enjoy your stay in Heaven. We will miss you but know you are watching over us.
Julie Ebert/Sponik
June 7, 2016
Kelly was kind, considerate, loving, caring and friend to all. Prayers go out to her in Heaven. You will be missed.
Julie Ebert/Sponik
June 7, 2016
I remember Kelly through the work of PDA- She was insightful and inclusive, loving and kind and grounded all of this in showing Christ's love to all. We need to carry her in our hearts and in our ministry.
Kristina Peterson
June 7, 2016
Rest in peace. You are in the fullness of light now.
May your family be comforted in their loss.
Thank you for all of the light that you gave to others, for being an advocate for those who have no voice, for the undocumented, the marginalized, those who are oppressed by our society.
God be with you always.
Rev. Peter E. Bauer
Peter Bauer
June 7, 2016
Wonderful woman and friend. Will be missed by more than anyone could imagine. God bless her and her family.
James (Rusty) Hughes
June 7, 2016
I am lucky to have known Kelly. She was a beautiful soul. She will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
Sarah Arciszewski
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