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Stella Allen

Stella Marie Neighbors Allen of Jackson, Mississippi passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 6, 2020, at the age of 79 after a battle with COVID-19. She was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on March 28, 1941, to John and Cleo Neighbors, and led a rich life full of love and family. Stella met her husband, Jerry, while living and teaching in the Mississippi Delta, they married in 1965 and celebrated 55 years together in June 2020. Stella is survived by her husband and constant companion, Jerry, their sons, Jay Allen (Belinda) of Fulton, Mississippi, and Stephen Allen (Karen) of Birmingham, Alabama, grandchildren Adah Allen (Birmingham), Emma Grace Allen (Fulton), Elliott Allen (Birmingham) and Mollianne Allen (Fulton), and her sister Doris Barlow of Clinton, Mississippi. She made her home and lifelong friends in Jackson, Byram, and Raymond before moving to Fulton, MS in Charleston Place Assisted Living. Education and the love of learning filled Stella’s life. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Belhaven College, as well as Master’s and Specialist’s degrees from Mississippi College. Stella was a lifelong educator who taught English, Latin, Greek Mythology, and Creative Writing at the high school level, including teaching in Belzoni and Brookhaven before returning to the Jackson area where she taught at Callaway, Peeples, Raymond, Byram, and Terry. She touched many lives over a long and fulfilling teaching career for forty two years that was capped by achieving the rigorous National Board Certification late in her career, an achievement only reached by a small percentage of teachers nationwide. Teaching was Stella’s passion where she earned the respect of both her peers and students, and she made a long and lasting impact on countless lives through her excitement and guiding presence in the classroom. Stella did whatever she could to stay involved with students, including being the sponsor of the student government and the prom committee. Outside of the classroom, Stella had a knack for bringing people together while having many lifelong friends that she continued to communicate with regularly for several decades. She was active in the community where both she and Jerry were part of the local Jaycees and Jaycettes and she served as chapter president during her time. Stella grew up attending Wells Methodist Church and stayed in touch with her local Wells Group for many decades. For the past forty years, Stella helped organize her Central High School class reunion as a means of keeping people connected. Stella had a warm heart and deeply cared about her husband, her two boys, their wives, her grandkids, her brothers, sisters, and extended family, as well as all of the friends, students, and fellow teachers that helped shape who she was, and everyone that she helped to shape throughout her long and prosperous life. She kept us connected like few others know how to do, and her spirit and love of people will live with the family always. As an English teacher at heart, we feel certain that after years of proofreading and editing both of her sons’ papers and projects that Stella has her red pen out and is marking up our attempts at honoring her with this obituary and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love you, mom. Due to severe safety concerns related to COVID-19, a small private ceremony for the immediate family will be held. A larger memorial service celebrating Stella’s amazing life is being planned for a future date when it is safe to gather again. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Stella and Jerry Allen Education Scholarship Fund at Itawamba Community College Foundation, Inc., 602 West Hill Street, Fulton, MS 38843 or 662-862-8002. Jay Allen, Ph.D. President Itawamba Community College 602 West Hill Street Fulton, MS 38843 662-862-8001

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