Sarah Jane Allan
Sarah Jane Allan, 82, formerly of Normal, died at 1:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at St. Patrick’s Residence, Naperville, Ill.
Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Epiphany Catholic Church with Father Daniel Gifford officiating. Burial will be in Park Hill Cemetery. Visitation is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29 at Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home, Bloomington, with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Additional visitation will be held one half-hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday at the church.
Sarah was born November 7, 1929, in Spring Valley, Ill., the daughter of Cyril J. (Sam) Sweeney and Bernice Avon Sweeney. She married Robert B. Allan, a Normal native, on June 11, 1951. He died Feb. 22, 2008. She was also preceded in death by her parents and her only sister, Catherine O’Shea.
A talented vocalist and pianist, Sarah graduated in 1951 from Illinois State Normal University, where she majored in music. For many years as a church organist and chorister, she taught general music in Hoopeston, Danville, and Eureka, and gave piano lessons privately. In 1969-70, she worked as a reporter for the Woodford County Journal (Eureka). Upon returning to Normal in 1972, she worked many years for the Office of Admissions at ISU, and eventually retired in 1989 from her position as foreign admissions officer, where she delighted in meeting and helping young people from around the world. She pursued graduate studies in the Department of History at ISU and was a member of the Illinois Historical Society. A long-time supporter of the Normal Public Library, she served a term on the Library Board, and was on the board for the Friends of the Normal Public Library for twenty years. She was a member of the Ariel Club of Bloomington, Ill., and a lifelong Democrat.
Sarah was a warm and loving person who delighted in her family and friends. She was passionate about her Irish heritage and a devout Catholic. An avid reader and moviegoer, her love of narrative and the beauty of language made her an endlessly interesting companion. Her beauty and her intelligence will live on in the memories of all who knew her, but her presence will be sorely missed.
Surviving are five daughters, Cathy (Randy) Schwichtenberg of Minnetonka, MN, Susan Allan (Perry Cartwright) of Porter, Ind., Nancy Koets of Dayton, OH, Patricia (Dave) Irion of Naperville, and Virginia Allan (Federico Goded) of Madrid, Spain; five grandchildren, Ryan Newby, Christine and Emily Schwichtenberg, and Rachel and Mark Irion; and a niece, Mary Beth O’Shea, of Bloomington, Ind.
Memorials may be made to the Normal Public Library or to the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm, St. Patrick’s Residence, 1400 Brookdale Road, Naperville, Ill. 60563.