Celebrating the life of Anita Gayle Allen
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Anita Gayle Allen was called by our Lord to her Heavenly home on Sunday, March 19, 2017. She had been ill for approximately two months with multiple myeloma cancer. Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m., Thursday, March 23, at First Baptist Church of Woodway, Texas, with Pastors Roy Marshall and Dr. Paul Sands officiating. Burial will follow at Stanford Chapel Cemetery near Lorena, Texas. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home.
Anita was born on July 10, 1938, in Evansville, Indiana, as the only child of Howard and Mabel (Riggs) Barton. She graduated valedictorian from Central High School, Evansville, Indiana, in 1956. Anita held undergraduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and from the School of Education at the University of Evansville. She was very bright, performing as a straight A student throughout all of her education except for one B her freshman year in high school (even though she had the highest grade in the class), because the teacher said he never gave an A to a freshman! Before her marriage to A. Dale Allen, Jr. in 1962, Anita worked professionally as a dance band singer and solo pianist-singer in some of the elite venues of the country. She also had two of her own musical radio shows and her own TV children’s show on station WLW in Cincinnati. Indeed, when the couple married, she was making more money than her husband. The Allen family, complete with five children, moved to Waco in 1978 after Dale was offered a position as a professor in the Business School at Baylor University. Since Dale had also been a band singer, later on in life they began performing together for conventions, reunions, church groups, stage shows, service organizations and retirement homes—whoever would hire them. They made five CD recordings, using genres of gospel, country, oldies, 50’s, and patriotic. Anita also taught piano for 30 years.
Anita was very active in numerous other ways. She was a church organist/pianist for many years. She served as an officer for McLennan County Republican Women’s Club and Christian Women Connection. Anita was the accompanist for the 100-voice Baylor Singing Seniors for many years, and worked as a substitute teacher at various times. She and her husband were active members of First Baptist Church of Woodway for 12 years, and First Baptist Church of Hewitt for 26 years. Anita daily made time for aerobic dancing and jogging. She and her husband also enjoyed watching old classic movies on TV; however, her first priority was God and family. She adored her husband, five children, and 18 grandchildren! Overall, Anita possessed a loving spirit, a servant’s heart, and loved to reach out to others when help was needed. Though she will be dearly missed, it’s understandable why the Lord couldn’t wait any longer to take her to her Heavenly home.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents.
Survivors include her husband; her children, Lori Taylor and husband, Ben, of Frisco, Krista Howell and husband, Hobby, of Woodway, Kirk Allen and wife, Tamara, of Waco, Tanya Holstead and husband, Danny, of Heath, Alysia Haluska and husband, Scotty, of Knoxville, Tennessee; and her grandchildren, Jessica Pavlovsky and husband, Ethan, Rachel Taylor, Hob and Clark Howell, Grayson, Kasie, Ambree, and Bekah Meek, Andrew Minor, Rachael and Leah Brown, Allison and Courtney Allen, Cameron Holstead and wife, Anne Marie, Cody and Caty Beth Holstead, and Jaylen and Reese Haluska.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Keith Horner (Providence Family Health), Dr. Robert Anderson (Texas Oncology), and the loving staff at Providence Hospital.
Memorials may be made to Baylor Singing Seniors 1233 Drake Ct, Waco TX 76710, The Scholarship Fund of the McLennan County Republican Women, P.O. Box 7291, Waco TX 76710, or the Anita Allen Memorial Scholarship at Crawford High School for a Fellowship of Christian Athlete student, 200 Pirate Drive, Crawford TX 76638. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Anita Gayle Allen, please visit our Tribute Store.
6101 Bosque Blvd.
Waco, TX 76710
101 Ritchie Rd.
Waco, TX 76712