Obituary: Helen J. Allen

Helen J. Allen passed away Oct. 28, 2017, in Newton.

She was born Oct. 2, 1918, to John and Anna Dudte at the family farm north of Newton, one of eight children. She married Ralph Allen on Nov. 30, 1939. Together, they established Ralph’s Grill in the 400 block of North Main, serving meals to residents of Newton and countless travelers until the early 1960s. She worked as a bookkeeper at the courthouse before marrying, then for the restaurant and later at Unruh’s Service.

She was a talented homemaker, gardener, seamstress and cook, and was very proud to be independent.

She lived her last 63 years in the house she and Ralph built on a lot of family land that was part of the holdings of her grandfather that included much of North Newton.

She is survived by her sisters, Dorothy Unruh of Newton and Elsie Johnson of Fountain Hills Ariz.; four children, Boni Craven of Pine Bluff, Ark., David Allen (Debbie) of Golden Valley, Minn., Shirley Allen of Palmetto, Fla., and Tom Allen (Sally) of Wichita; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Allen, her parents, her brothers Fred and Harry Dudte, and her sisters Margaret Gates, Gertrude Jeter and Mary Williams.

A private family service will be held. Petersen Funeral Home Newton is in charge of arrangements.

Her spirit and humor will be missed, but lives on in all of us.

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