B: July 11, 1901 - D: Jan. 9, 2003
2nd. Generation Floridian

BARTOW -- Mrs. Thelma Hall Allin  remembered the days of the horse and buggy and saw the first automobile in Plant City. She passed her wealth of knowledge on to later generations. "She talked about hearing about the first airplanes and the sinking of the Titanic. It was amazing all the things that she remembered," said her niece, Betty Fitzgerald of Bartow. "She led an awesome life." She put many of her memories in writing after her family persuaded her to write her memoirs.
 Mrs. Allin, a retired professor of home economics at Florida Southern College, died of lung failure Thursday (Jan. 9, 2003) at Bartow Center. She was a second-generation Floridian, born in Plant City on July 11, 1901.
 She was the valedictorian of her class at Summerlin Institute.  Mrs. Allin began attending Florida Southern College when its campus was located in Clearwater. After the school burned, she continued her education at the new Lakeland campus, a member of its first graduating class. Mrs. Allin taught home economics at Georgia State College for Women, Mary Washington College and Flora McDonald College, before returning to Polk County.  She retired in the late 1960s as head of the home economics department at Florida Southern.  
  A petite and determined lady with a twinkle in her eye, Mrs. Allin led a very active life and enjoyed traveling. "She traveled all over the United States. She kept a map in the house with little pins at all the places she had been. She loved flying -- once she stepped foot on a plane, she loved flying," Fitzgerald said. "She and her brother and sister traveled in an RV up until a few years ago. At one time, they were gone for three months traveling the U.S."      Although she never had any biological children of her own, her nieces and nephews were like her children, and she spent much time with them over the years.
 Mrs. Allin continued driving until five years ago, and dedicated much of her time to taking meals to shut-ins and to the elderly, primarily at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, where she was a member. She was an antiques enthusiast and a member of the Wedgewood Circle of the Antique Collectors Club of Lakeland. She belonged to the Sisterhood of PEO.
 Mrs. Allin was preceded in death by her first husband, Ancil M. Ellison, and second husband, J. Lander Allin.
  In addition
to Fitzgerald, she is survived by her sister, Betty Waugh, Bartow; nieces, Lyn Scott, Lakeland, and Catherine Cotter, Chevy Chase, Md., nephew, Robert Cotter, Plantation; stepsons, Lander Allin Jr., Richmond, Va., Wilbur Allin, Oak Ridge, Tenn.; nine step grandchildren; and 19 step great-grandchildren. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at WhiddenMcLean Funeral Home, 650 E. Main St., Bartow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at First United Methodist Church, 455 S. Broadway, Bartow. Burial will be in Wildwood Cemetery, Bartow. -Ledger, Jan. 10, 2003