A 1946 graduate of Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, she earned her bachelor's degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 1954. She later earned her master’s degree in linguistics at Kansas University (Lawrence, KS). Allene loved God, people, books, and cheering on her favorite sports teams – especially KU basketball, the Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Royals. For most of her adult life, Allene lived in Peru, serving first as a teacher to the children of members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and later as a Bible translator herself to the Asheninka (Campa Indian) people of Peru. She spent 42 years working to create a written language for a dialect of these mountainous people group -- one of the least modernized of South America's indigenous tribes -- and translating the New Testament into the newly written language. It's dedication around 10 years ago was a joyous occasion. Up until a few years before her passing, Allene continued to work on a dictionary for the language, including traveling back and forth to Peru, when others might have been enjoying a much-deserved and restful retirement.
In the final years of her life, Allene split her time between her retirement home in Dallas, Texas, where she lived among dear friends who also served with Wycliffe in similar capacities, and frequent visits to her siblings’ homes in Ohio and Kansas. When her health began to fail, she acquiesced to her family’s desire that she make her home in Ohio. She was cared for by the kind staff of Hennis Nursing Home in Dover during the last year of her life.
Allene is survived by her loving siblings, Paul (Marilyn) Heitzman of Eudora, KS and Madeline Troyer of Sugarcreek, Ohio, as well as her maternal aunt, Helen Hilliard of Kansas City. She is also survived by nieces and nephews who loved her dearly: Richard (Amy) Heitzman, Sally (David) Johnson, Paul (Traci) Troyer, Tim (Christina) Troyer, Marilyn Troyer, Kim (Tim) Mitchell and Kristina (Mike) Warkall. She loved and felt great pride for the accomplishments of her many grand-nieces and grand-nephews, who will also miss her.
Allene was pre-deceased by her dear niece, Patricia Heitzman, and brother-in-law, Les Troyer.
Services will be held at Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. A viewing will be held for the hour before the service. Burial will be at Union Hill Cemetery in Sugarcreek. Memorial gifts may be given in her honor to Wycliffe Bible Translators (P.O. Box 628200, Orlando, FL 32862). Please visit the funeral home’s web site to share a memory and sign the guest register.
Smith-Varns Funeral Home