Marie Jackson Allen, age 77, of Elgin, passed away on December 2, 2016 at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, IL. She was born on February 12, 1939 in Knoxville, TN to her loving parents, Morrison “M.P.” and Beatrice Jackson.

The enjoyment of music was woven throughout Marie’s life. At a young age, she learned to play piano in the Wesleyan church where her father was the music director. Marie would often lead her extended family in song as she played hymns on the piano at family gatherings. Marie attended the University of Tennessee and Central Wesleyan College, majoring in music.

She met the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Allen, at age 25 when she applied to work at his music store. It was love at first sight, and the two married after a whirlwind six-week courtship. They shared 52 wonderful years together, living in various Southern states before moving to the Chicago suburbs in 1983. Together they raised three children and three stepchildren.

Marie and Bob enjoyed playing music together, her on the piano and him on the organ, just as they had in those first few weeks as they fell in love. Throughout the years, Marie and Bob loved to go driving, to no place in particular, hoping to find a new little diner or drive-in to recreate the dinner on their first day as newlyweds, recalling the life and love they had shared for so long.

Over the years, Marie used her musical talents to serve the Lord as a church children’s choir director and pianist. She also taught piano lessons to children and adults alike. In her free time, Marie enjoyed singing, reading, and spending time with family. She loved to laugh and had a truly goofy sense of humor, leading to the coining of the family phrase “Mom jokes.” She was beloved by her grandchildren, with whom she enjoyed playing games, hosting tea parties, and giving the best back scratches the world has ever known.

Marie worked as an administrative assistant, most recently retiring from Willow Creek Community Church where she worked in the Membership Department for many years.

Marie was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Rebecca; stepson Steve; and brothers Steve and David Jackson.

Marie is survived by her beloved husband, Bob Allen; children Jennifer (Chris) Eisele, Valerie (Matt) Johnson, and Chris (Heidi) Allen; stepchildren Sherrill (Steve) Nobles and Stan (Ann) Allen; siblings Jean Day, John Jackson, Evelyn (Jim) Teague, Agnes Laycock, and Mary (Joe) Stinnett; grandchildren Michelle Clay, Stefanie Montunnas, Brandy Hall, Roy Davis, Valerie McDonald, Michelle Allen, Emily Allen, Corey Allen, Nathan Allen, Jackson Gutierrez, Dakota Miller, Jessie Martinez, and Savannah Allen; 12 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, cousins and loving friends.

The family will receive friends 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. on December 10, 2016, with Memorial Service at 4:00p.m., Rev. Tim Perry officiating, at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin, IL 60120. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Willow Creek Community Church (www.willowcreek.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org).

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