|THELMA HALL ALLIN - 101 -
-- 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.
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,
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