Doris B. Allen

OSWEGO, NY – Doris B. Allen, of Oswego, passed away on Thursday November 27, 2014.

She was born on September 30, 1921, in Redfield, NY, the daughter of Agnes A. and David
R. Brown.

Her husband, Edwin M. (“Jiggs”) Allen, predeceased her; as did her sister, Agnes B. Finnerty; and her brother, David R. (“Buck”) Brown.

Doris is survived by her three children and their families, namely a) Doris’ daughter,
Elisabeth A. Cody, Ashland, NH and her son, David M. Cody, Newton, Mass. b) Doris’ son,
John D. Allen, Esq, Syracuse, NY, his wife, Ann C. Allen, and their children and grandchildren, namely 1) Kathleen C. Bresnan, Victor, NY, her husband Brian D. Bresnan and their children Madeline, John and Nora  2) Emily A. Amendola, Norwood, Mass., her husband, Joseph J. Amendola and their children Joseph, Ryan and Steven and 3) Caroline L. Allen, Washington, DC? and c) Doris’ daughter, Phyllis J. Allen, Cambridge, Mass.

She is also survived by niece, Joyce Seubert, Camden, NY; nephew, James M. Brown, Albany, NY; and several grandnieces and grandnephews.

Doris was a 1942 graduate of Oswego State Teachers College where she received her baccalaureate degree in education as well as a 1946 graduate of Teachers College at Columbia University.

She also did post­graduate studies at Syracuse University.

In addition to raising her family, Doris’ career was in public education as a classroom teacher and teaching principal.

She served as Oswego’s first director of Head Start.

She loved teaching and took special pride in teaching children to read and enjoy it.

Doris was a community leader.

She served as Oswego’s first female alderman where she led the fight for affordable housing which resulted in the building of Hamilton Homes.

She loved the theater and acted in many plays in Oswego, for the Oswego Players, which she joined in 1946, and in Pinehurst, NC, for the Pinehurst Country Club, after she and her husband retired to Pinebluff, NC? and later in Syracuse, NY, for several companies when she returned north after her husband passed away and before she moved back to Oswego.

She was an accomplished speaker and wrote many speeches for others to give as well as those she gave on many topics especially local history.

She also was an accomplished author.

She wrote several books, including her memoirs, as well as many articles.

She was an active and avid Democrat who led or participated in many political campaigns.

She loved to read and was a lifelong learner who also loved to travel.

She visited many countries in Europe as well as Russia, Egypt, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, China and almost every state in the Union.

She loved to play cards, particularly bridge, for which she was particularly skilled at teaching others how to play and enjoy this game.

She also loved Scrabble and enjoyed countless matches with her daughters and granddaughters in particular.

She loved her camp on Lake Ontario at Ramona Beach where she summered for almost 60 years and enjoyed the special company of the neighboring camp owners.

Doris was active in many civic organizations.

In addition to Players, they included the American Association of University Women, Half-Shire Historical Society, Winter Club and Friends of the Library in Oswego and the Retired Officers Club at Hancock Airbase, the Corinthian Club and the Syracuse Stage Guild in Syracuse.

Her career, public service and achievements have been recognized in the book “Remarkable
Women in New York State History” as well as in the Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY.

In lieu of flowers, please remember Doris by making a contribution to the Half-Shire
Historical Society, Richland, NY.

The Dowdle Funeral Home at 154 E. Fourth St., will host calling hours on Monday from 4 to 7 p.m.

A celebratory mass will be said at the Newman Center at Oswego State University at 36 New St., on December 2 at 11 a.m.

Burial will be in Arlington Cemetery with her husband who, in addition to his newspaper and public official career, served as Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army.


  1. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear of Doris’ passing!!! What a lady!!! What a human being! What a wonderful asset to the Oswego community!!! Who DIDN’T love Doris Allen???

    So sorry for your loss, Allen Family. Heck, so sorry for all our loss!

    God bless you, Doris. Just saw you a month or so ago. You looked great! At the Pearly Gates, they’ll say, ‘what a gal! Welcome!’


    Debbie & Ray Engelke

  2. Mrs. Allen was my first teacher in kindergarten. A tremendous influence, and a credit to her profession! I still have a letter she wrote to my mother, saying I was ready for next step, 1st grade. My condolences to her family.

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