Salem-Claudine Allison, a former Illinois resident, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday morning, March 29, at the home of her son in Salem, NY, where she had been living for three years. She was 97.
Mrs. Allison was born on October 16, 1922 in Johnsonville IL the first of two daughters, to Virgil and Velda Ellis Karlee. The young Claudine and her sister Pauline became a locally noted singing duo, but they declined a talent promoter’s invitation to go on tour. She graduated from high school in nearby Flora, attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and taught in Wayne County schools. While in college, she met James M. Allison, and the two were married at the home of her parents in Rinard on June 3, 1945. She followed her husband, a newly commissioned pilot in the Army Air Corps, to various stations including Alabama and Texas, where she worked in a department store.
At the end of the war, the couple returned to southern Illinois, residing in Salem, IL where Mr. Allison worked as a geologist for the Texas Company and their son Michael was born. The family of three was transferred by Texaco to Wichita, Kansas, and subsequently to Columbus, Ohio, where Mrs. Allison attended Otterbein College and again taught public school. After another transfer to Tulsa, Oklahoma, the couple again returned to southern Illinois, where Mr. Allison continued to work as a consulting geologist.
Mrs. Allison was a devoted Methodist, serving as a children’s Sunday school teacher and active in adult study classes. She and her husband made two trips to the Holy Land as part of a tour group organized by the First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon. With her husband’s declining health, the couple moved to Fairbury to live close to Mrs. Allison’s sister. Eleven years after his death, she moved to the home of her son in upstate New York, but always considered herself, as she put it, an “Illinois-ian.”
Mrs. Allison loved classic movie musicals, much enjoying a tour of the film locales for Hello Dolly in New York’s Hudson Valley. She was a loving mother and wife, a superb cook, and even near the end of her life a skillful Scrabble player, always charming to all who helped with her care.
Mrs. Allison is survived by her sister Pauline Grandon, her son Michael (Siri), two nieces Linda Grandon and Valla Broguard (Sam), and two grandchildren, Hilary and Chris. Her funeral in Mount Vernon is being postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Arrangements for her burial alongside her husband at Graceland Cemetery in Albion are being made by Nale’s Funeral Home of Albion. Memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon, IL.
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