In memory of

Marilyn Allen

August 15, 1930 -  November 15, 2023

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.


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Michele McMaster (friend of daughter Barb)

Entered November 25, 2023 from Toronto

Barb, so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. She had a long and happy life, but it is never easy to say good-bye. Sending love and sympathy to you and the family.

Brenda Bracken (Former colleague and friend of Marilyn’s daughter Barb)

Entered November 25, 2023 from Peterborough

So sorry to hear of the passing of your mother Barb. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. May your memories of your mother be a blessing and cease the void her passing has left in your heart.

Fran Harvey for the Metropolitan Silver Band (Friend)

Entered November 25, 2023 from Bracebridge

Marilyn was an absolutely wonderful person. In addition to being a great supporter of the band, she was also an extremely accomplished musician herself. Many of us remember her incredible piano accompaniments for Malcolm Sinclair at our concerts over the years. She always followed wherever he took the music...a most professional and skilled accompanist.

Marilyn didn't like the spotlight but her great talent created a support for others that made music dance, sing and live. In life she was the same. Those of us from the band committee of old will recall going to their house for meetings and somehow there was always a small feast of home made sweet treats that accompanied coffee and tea. She attended every concert and service for many years and was a quiet leader of the "band groupies". She had a quiet sense of humour that snuck up on you and delighted and her smile always made you feel loved. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

Patricia Wright (Friend)

Entered November 25, 2023 from Toronto

William and I send our sympathy and concern to Ken and the family. Marilyn was a lovely and talented person, and I was privileged to know her.

Graeme Jannaway (Metropolitan Silver Band)

Entered November 25, 2023 from Etobicoke

I first met Marilyn during a MSB concert or service in 1969 when I was 17. She was an excellent musician and friend of the band.


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