March 31, 1915 — Feb. 8, 2018
Justine ‘Jerri’ Mercedes Dorothy Allen, 102, of Longview and Coos Bay, Ore., was born March 31, 1915, in Iron River, Mich., to Joseph Des Jardin and Ida Louise Moon. She passed away peacefully on Feb. 8, 2018, in Coos Bay.
Jerri grew up in Onalaska, Wash., with her father, stepmother Monie, older brother Gerald “Dusty” and younger stepbrother Arnold. A devout Catholic, Jerri was confirmed shortly after her 13th birthday in the Church of St. Joseph in Chehalis, Wash. Shortly thereafter, she joined Dusty, who was recruited to play sports, at newly built R.A. Long High School in Longview, where she graduated in 1934.
She married Laverne “Vern” Allen on June 17, 1936, in Vancouver. Their marriage was celebrated on July 26, 1936, at St. Rose Church in Longview.
In 1938, Jerri gave birth to her only child, Diane Gail Freeman. Vern’s work in the wood products industry took the family to Albany, Ore., where Jerri worked at F.W. Woolworth’s, and Eureka, Calif., where she was a stay-at-home mother and an active member of the country club. After a brief stint in Coos Bay, they returned to Longview in 1966, where they retired. As a widow, Jerri lived by herself until after her 100th birthday, when she moved to Coos Bay to be closer to her family.
Jerri was an accomplished baker, played a mean jazz keyboard by ear, was an avid golfer and bridge player, and volunteered time helping physically challenged youth learn to swim. She joked about not looking forward to old age, then attributed her longevity to the absence of alcohol, tobacco and dating, although she did admit to being tempted lately.
Preceded in death by husband, both parents, stepmother Monie Desjardin, brother Gerald and stepbrother Arnold, she is survived by her daughter, Gail Freeman (Bud); three grandchildren, Stacey, Darci and Michael (Christina); four great-grandchildren, Rodney Stalcup Jr. (Jade), Lindsey Beveridge (Ian), Matthew DeBellis, and Maxwell Freeman; and a great-great-grandson, Brayden Stalcup.
Mass will be said for Jerri at St. Rose Church at 9 a.m. March 11. She is at rest with Vern at Longview Memorial Park in Longview.