Margaret Soden-Allen

[Age 94] A secretary, she pushed her children to graduate from college.

March 31, 2007

Margaret Soden-Allen, a retired secretary who saw a dream of hers fulfilled when children and grandchildren became college graduates, died in her sleep Monday at her Ashburton home. She was 94.

Margaret Stewart was born and raised in Northwest Baltimore. She was a graduate of Douglass High School and Cortez Peters Business School.

Mrs. Soden-Allen worked as a secretary at what is now Morgan State University and for eight years at the Enoch Pratt's central library until retiring in 1972.

Mrs. Soden-Allen placed a great emphasis on education and made sure her children read and visited the library and museums.

"She believed in higher education and told us, `You're going to college - no ifs, ands or buts' - and I can tell you, she was very authoritative when she said that," said a daughter, Shirley S. Briscoe of Mount Washington.

Mrs. Soden-Allen's five children graduated from college, as well as her grandchildren.

"One is a doctor and another has a Ph.D." said another daughter, Rita S. Johnson of Randallstown.

Mrs. Soden-Allen had lived in her Ashburton home since 1960, and it was the center of her life, relatives said.

"She enjoyed giving parties, and at Christmas, she loved to bake a variety of cookies and make homemade root beer," Mrs. Briscoe said.

Mrs. Soden-Allen also played the organ and was an accomplished seamstress. She also liked to knit and crochet.

Her husband of 46 years, Ernest M. Soden Sr., died in 1975. She was married for 16 years to Edwin Allen, who died in 1997.

Mrs. Soden-Allen was an 87-year member of Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1714 Madison Ave., where services will be held at 10 a.m. today.

Also surviving are a son, Dr. Cylburn E. Soden of Silver Spring; 12 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. A son, Ernest M. Soden Jr., died in 1996; and a daughter, Marilyn Roche died in 1985.

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