Pat Allen 1932 – 2021
By Lois Bauccio
Pat Allen was the ultimate Zontian. She was a person who loved life in every possible way. She loved her family, her community, and her country. She loved her friends from Santa Clarita and San Fernando, Canyon High Football, all dogs, Elvis, and a million other things. At the top of list of the things she loved, right along with her family, was service to the people in need in her community, her country, and her world. It was that deep love of service that propelled her every day as a Santa Clarita Zontian to say “yes” whenever she was asked to serve. Her service was characterized by love, joy, humor, and dedication – always.
Pat was born in San Fernando, California on March 19, 1932. She attended San Fernando High School where she met her lifelong sweetheart, Sheldon Allen. They graduated in 1950, Sheldon joined the Navy, and they married in1951. In 1955, Pat went to work at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as her husband went to college and law school. Those early years of the Allen marriage reflect Pat’s amazing energy as she gave birth to 4 children by 1960 while working full time and assisting her husband in his burgeoning legal practice. The kids needed her too, so she volunteered for San Fernando Little League as Sheldon coached the team. Their partnership in community service had begun.
That partnership in community service grew to a phenomenal level when they moved to Canyon Country in 1967, and they immediately became involved in the Canyon High School Community Committee and the Canyon High School Booster Club when the school opened. In 1982, they became deeply involved in volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club. Pat’s outstanding volunteerism was recognized, and she soon was invited to join Zonta where she quickly moved into leadership with her enthusiastic desire to volunteer for everything. Over the years she served as Chair of every committee, served on the Board as member and as officer, including President. She was such a great and perennial Treasurer, that the bylaws were amended to allow her to serve addition terms in that role. She travelled to District Conferences and International Conventions all over the world with her Unzon husband, Sheldon. She was truly delighted by the beautiful women in their native dress, and she was thrilled to be a part of it all. She was amazed to hear the Amelia Earhart Fellows talk about their projects which she didn’t understand but did understand that she, through Zonta, had been a part in funding their important work.
Additional community service included the Red Cross Disaster Team, Chair of the Celebrity Waiter Celebration for the American Heart Association for ten years, Canyon Theater Guild Volunteer, Home Tour for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Cowboy Poetry Festival, Senior Center Wine Auction, and much, much more.
It was with the Boys & Girls Club and for the famous auction where Pat came into her own as a solicitor of donations. Over the years, her talent and skill for solicitation grew, so much so that there was no business in town which she had not solicited nor could say “no” to her. Eventually, she would take several requests to a solicitation meeting, always in person. She would first ask for Zonta, then the Boys & Girls Club, then the Senior Center, and so on.
Through Zonta, Pat’s community service included being a regular Mrs. Claus for Zonta’s Rent-A-Santa program as well as Chair of Zonta’s Senior Center bread bake program for home-bound seniors. She helped out in Val Verde for Healthy Kids Club. She truly believed in helping women and girls at every age to become empowered for growth and improvement. The extent to which she improved the community for the women and girls living in Santa Clarita is incalculable. Indeed, it was so immense that she was named as Santa Clarita Woman of the Year in 1994, when she was recognized along with Sheldon who was named Man of the Year right by her side. In 1999, she was honored as California Woman of the Year by State Senator Pete Knight of the 17th District, and in 2000 Pat and Sheldon were named as Volunteers of the Decade by the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
Throughout it all, she continued her dual careers as mother to four children, Sharon, Mitch, Vince and Chris, and as a loyal employee to Lockheed. When she retired in 1990 after nearly 35 years at Lockheed, she found new time to volunteer even more! Zonta sent her along with her close friends, Zontians Jami Kennedy, Barbara Cochran, Carmen Sarro and so many others, to represent our club at literally every nonprofit fundraising event in Santa Clarita checking in party goers, selling tickets for raffles, anything and everything to help the various organizations raise dollars to help the individuals they were serving and to improve the community. She never ceased to entertain her Zonta Sisters with tales of the exploits and successes of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren during Brags & Bitches and then Bits & Pieces.
In later years, long after Sheldon’s passing, Pat’s health began to decline, and she moved to the Antelope Valley to be closer to family for her care. We lost her on January 1st, just two months short of her 89th birthday. She will long be remembered by Zonta SCV as a funny, joyful, remarkable leader, an inspirational volunteer, and a true Zontian. She loved us, and we sincerely loved her. Rest in Peace, Our Dear Pat.