Harriet M. Allen, Harford teacher, dies

She received several awards for her voluntarism

April 13, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

Harriet M. Allen, a retired Harford County public school educator, died April 4 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the Charlestown retirement community. She was 89.

Harriet Morris was born in Baltimore County and raised in Hampstead, where she graduated from Hampstead High School in 1939.

After graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1943, she taught high school for two years in Salisbury. In 1963, she earned a master's degree in education from the University of Maryland.

She began teaching English at Aberdeen High School in 1945 and then became a guidance counselor. She retired in 1983.

The longtime Aberdeen resident had volunteered at Harford County Social Services in Bel Air, the Harford County Fuel Fund and the annual Chili Dinner.

For her voluntarism, Mrs. Allen was presented the Athena Award in 1989 by the Harford County Chamber of Commerce, and three years later, a Women of Distinction Award from Soroptimist International.

Also in 1991, Mrs. Allen was honored by the National Association of Counties with one of 1,000 awards given by President George H.W. Bush called the County Points of Light for her volunteer efforts on behalf of government and people.

When she moved to the Catonsville retirement community in 1992, Mrs. Allen continued her volunteer efforts. For 14 years, she volunteered in the guidance office of Catonsville High School and with Baltimore County Social Services.

In the last few years of her life, she worked with elementary school students near Charlestown who needed extra help, and also provided food donations for Our Daily Bread.

She had been chairman of Friendly Visitors at Charlestown and was still working as a volunteer coordinator months before her death. She also brought Communion to shut-ins at the retirement community.

She had been an active member of Churchville Presbyterian Church for 25 years, where she was a member of the board of deacons and of many committees, which she chaired.

While living in Catonsville, she was a moderator for the Presbyterian Women at the Catonsville Presbyterian Church.

Her husband of 32 years, Ralph Allen, who worked at Aberdeen Proving Ground's Land Warfare Laboratories, died in 1977.

A memorial service was held Friday at the retirement community.

Surviving are two nephews.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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