Marilyn Ann Allen was born near Ridgetown, Ontario. Her father and mother came from farming families in southwestern Ontario communities of Ridgetown and Highgate. Marilyn and family moved to Toronto’s west end when she was seven and this is where she grew up. Marilyn talked fondly of returning to the family farmhouses for gatherings and summer afternoon games of lawn croquet.
Marilyn attended Western Technical-Commercial School. After graduation she worked as a secretary at London Life and Canada Wire and Cable before marrying and having children.
Music was a big part of Marilyn’s life. She began piano lessons in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed Grade 10. It was through piano that she met her future husband. A trombone player, Kenneth Allen had placed first in his category in the 1949 Kiwanis Festival and was asked to play at the Stars of the Festival. He needed piano accompaniment and a friend introduced him to Marilyn. They said they started their life together on the stage of Massey Hall.
Marilyn and Ken were married in 1954, purchased a home in Scarborough two years later and started their family. With her piano in the front room and daily practice, Marilyn entertained family and friends, played piano with a local choir and accompanied artists who performed as guests with the Metropolitan Silver Band, where Ken played trombone. Once her children were in their teens she worked part-time at a local Royal Conservatory branch providing administrative support.
Marilyn enjoyed taking care of her home, her garden and her family. She and Ken stayed in their Scarborough home for 67 years; it was the location for annual birthday and Christmas gatherings all those years. She was a faithful companion to her husband, attending Band concerts, Toronto Symphony performances and baseball games.
Marilyn is pre-deceased by her brother, Frederick Phenix, and is survived by her husband of 69 years, Ken Allen and daughters Barbara and Patricia.
We thank her for being a wonderful wife and mother. And the family would like to thank the nurses and doctors of Michael Garron Hospital for the comfort care provided the final days of her life.
According to Marilyn’s wishes there will be no funeral, and the family will arrange for a private burial.
If desired, donations can be made in memory of Marilyn to Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East, Toronto.