Shirley was born October 8, 1935 to Audie and Mildred Hembree in Kennewick, WA. She joined two older brothers, Harold and Richard. She graduated from West Valley High School, in Spokane in 1954 and married Harry H Allen that same year, after he returned home from the Korean War. Shirley and Harry had three children, Lonnie, Laura and Michael, all born in Spokane.
After moving to Helena in 1960, the family joined the First Presbyterian Church. Shirley also enjoyed belonging to Daughters of the Nile, where she was active in several groups including the Patrol, drummers and most recently playing in the band. When first moving to Helena, her immediate neighbors (Minnie Mae Michaelson and Kay Thompson) taught her to play bridge, which became a lifelong passion.
Shirley was a homemaker with a love of volunteering. Any call for meals, cookies, selling tickets and promoting charities, she was there, happy to help. Cooking and baking were two of her favorite pastimes. Many folks enjoyed her delicious cookies, cakes and breads, often times requesting one of her specialties for a special occasion.
One of the most important parts of Shirley’s life was her grandchildren. Many a cookie was baked, books read and road trips enjoyed with Grandma Shirley.
Shirley was predeceased by husband Harry (1984), son Lonnie (2009) and son-in-law Terry Engelson (2004). She is survived by daughter Laura (Jean) Riendeau, Davenport, WA, son Mike Allen, Helena, grandsons Kyle Engelson of Seattle, Dalton Allen, of Portland, Dylan (Tristin) Allen of Phnom Penh Cambodia, Drew Allen of Helena, granddaughter Kari (Donji) Young of Tacoma and two great grandchildren, Hayden and Henley Young.
Mom passed from this life on September 20, 2018 after suffering a heart attack at her home.
Services will be at the First Presbyterian Church, 535 N Ewing St, in Helena, Thursday, Sept. 27, 1 p.m. with fellowship immediately following the service. Memorials can be made in Shirley’s name to the First Presbyterian Church, 535 N Ewing St, Helena, MT 59601 or the Lewis and Clark Humane society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604. Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Shirley.