On Friday November 29, 2019, Geraldine (Jeri) Allen, loving Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma, went to be with the Lord at the age of 90. She was born on February 9, 1929 in Manilla, Iowa to Art and Freda Natzel as the youngest of 4 children. She graduated from Manilla High in 1947 as class valedictorian. She would go on to live in Des Moines, Iowa followed by Minnesota and Wisconsin before retiring to Florida. For the first 15 years of retirement, she spent summers in northern Wisconsin and winters in Florida.
Jeri raised 2 children and worked as an Executive Secretary for many years working for companies (i.e. Firestone and General Mills) before beginning her career in Real Estate while living in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Jeri was involved in many groups and clubs during her life, including her kid’s activities, hobby groups and her church. She used her gifts of leadership and organization in each place. Even in retirement, she was organizing and writing up newsletters for the communities she lived in.
She was a great cook and baker, and we will always be thankful for the delicious meals and baked goods in our house. Her homemade pecan rolls were the house favorite.
She had many interests over the years, but will be remembered the most for her talents of sewing, knitting, raising violets and gardening. The projects she completed were always the most complicated and elaborate. She loved caring for orchids during her years in Florida. In the last 3 years, she lived in Arizona to be near her daughter, and continued to knit, read and have orchids in her apartment.
Her grandkids and great grandkids were a real joy to her. She always looked forward to their visits, even in the last week of her life. They could bring a special smile to her face.
Jeri consistently embraced technology changes over the years, which we all enjoyed seeing. She was on her computer or tablet daily in retirement until the last year of her life. It was fun to see her ordering on Amazon and using her smartphone. There was a period of time that she used UBER to get to her appointments. She enjoyed the challenge and fun of technology.
During her retirement years, she was able to enjoy travel to many places that she had dreamed of. Along with her second husband Jack, they traveled to Europe, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and took several cruises. She loved being by the beaches of Florida and around the lakes of Northern Wisconsin.
She faced many challenges in her life with determination, faith and resilience. In her later years, we saw her incredible willingness to adapt and accept her declining physical health. We will remember her positive attitude and how she told us daily not to worry about her. She had a quick and beautiful smile and a big heart for her family and friends.
Jeri was preceded in death by her second husband of 29 years- Jack Allen, and her siblings; Maxine Natzel, Margaret Smith and Vernon Natzel. She is survived by her children from her first marriage to Lee Stevenson; Greg Stevenson ( Debbie) of Denver , Pam Karlberg (Brad) of Phoenix, along with grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her stepchildren; Sue (Tom) Sowinski, Mary (Carl) Radke, Jim (Terri) Allen, Paula (Chuck) Gierczak, David (Karen) Allen and their families. A service will be held at a later date in Wisconsin, where she will be buried.