Sophie Elizabeth Allen
March 31, 1994 – August 14, 2021
Sophie Elizabeth Allen died August 14, 2021 in a hit and run while walking with her dear friend during a visit to Chicago. She will be forever in our hearts.
She was born March 31, 1994 in Tokyo, Japan to Diana Semel Allen and Nicholas St. John Allen. When she was four months old her family moved to the United States and her first home there was at Duke Central Campus married student housing in Durham, North Carolina. Sophie grew up in Cary, NC, graduating from Enloe High School in Raleigh in 2012 before attending her dream school, Duke University, where she lived on Central Campus again for two years, this time as a proud member of Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. Sophie received a B.A. in Public Policy from the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy in 2016.
Just before graduation, Sophie met Andrew Pollizzi, the love of her life and fellow Blue Devil. Following graduation, she moved to Washington D.C. and worked as a Senior Associate at Hamilton Place Strategies, a public policy consulting firm, then served as Director of Flag Media Analytics. In May 2020 she and her beloved rescue dog Ollie Bear moved to Orlando, FL to be with Andrew during his studies at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Sophie secured a position at Robinhood, a financial technology start-up, as a Product Operations Manager. She had been recently placed on a new team there with her eyes on her next adventure - moving to New York City. Sophie and Andrew were set to be married on September 23, 2023 in Raleigh, NC.
Sophie has always been an incredible person: joyful, dynamic, smart, accomplished, outrageously ambitious, and caring just begin to describe her. She was fiercely passionate about everything: friends, family, puppy dogs, soccer, Duke, travel, food, reading, spin cycling, surfing... the list goes on and on. Sophie never met a stranger, and she fully lived every single second of her amazing life with unbelievable energy and joy. She was a natural leader and always left everything on the field. Sophie always confronted every challenge. After being exceptionally healthy her entire life, she was shockingly diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer October 1, 2020. She successfully fought that cancer with everything she had, through six cycles of aggressive chemotherapy, double mastectomy and reconstruction, lymph node removal and five weeks of daily radiation therapy all while continuing the work she loved with Robinhood, and walking Ollie three times every day. On June 24, 2021, after running with Ollie, Sophie completed her last aggressive treatment and had 51 days of pure joy, cancer- and aggressive-treatment free, before the tragedy.
Sophie is survived by legions of friends and her loving and beloved family: fiancé Andrew Pollizzi and dog Ollie; mother Diana Allen and her partner Mark Brady of Cary, NC; father Nicholas Allen, his wife Heather Edelblute and sister Beatrix Allen of West Chester, PA; brother Bennett Allen and his partner Sarah Witmer of Washington D.C.; maternal grandfather Jay Semel and his fiancée Joan Kjaer of Iowa City, IA; paternal grandfather John Anthony Allen of Chelmsford, England; uncle David Semel, aunt Ame Szasz and cousins Isaiah Ramirez and Charlie Semel of San Francisco, CA; aunt Elizabeth Allen, uncle Jon Anscombe and cousin Jacob Anscombe of Chelmsford, England; uncle Mark Allen and aunt June Allen also of Chelmsford, England; and the Pollizzi, Brady, and Edelblute families.
She was preceded in death by her loving and beloved grandmothers Theresa Blazic Semel and Judith Goby Allen.
Services and a celebration of Sophie’s amazing life will be held Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 2 pm at Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh,where Sophie and Andrew had planned to be married, with celebration of life reception to follow (details to be provided once the reception is planned).
Donations in Sophie’s memory are welcome at the charity of your choice or DC Paws animal rescue, which brought Sophie her beloved Ollie (Donate – DC PAWS Rescue); Susan G. Komen (Donate to Susan G Komen to help fight breast cancer); Duke Cancer Institute’s Teen and Young Adult Oncology Program (TYAO) (Make a Gift to TYAO); or Camp Kesem (Donate to Kesem 2020).
Most importantly in Sophie’s memory: Live life to the fullest and cherish every moment you have; the world is now so much dimmer without our beautiful girl and her radiant light.
A Celebration of Life
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Sophie Elizabeth Allen
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August 30, 2021
I remember meeting Sophie at Diana's 50th birthday celebration. A bright light - radiating joy and happiness - grounded in strength.
She was a graceful force of nature. The genuine affection and love between Diana and Sophie was evident. Such a wonderful relationship could only be formed over many years of conversations, laughter, tears and trust. Sophie will always be remembered as that bright star by me.
Diana - you are in my thoughts and I am here for you.
August 26, 2021
Sophie, i have never met you. But that smile on your face must have lit up many of peoples lives. You are so sadly and tragically takin away from so many of your loving family at such a young life. May God bless you and your family to move forward.
August 24, 2021
Our hearts, love, prayers, condolences 💐 are with you all. Run High and Free, dear lady, and surround your loved ones with light and beauty.
August 24, 2021
Sophie, Andrew, James and I watched the Euro 2020 ENG vs. UKR game on July 3. I remember Sophie was in her white 3 Lions kit. She came into the bar fresh from a brunch with Andrew and his family, where they were celebrating Sophie's return to Orlando, FL.
We had a great time watching the game and celebrating after. She told me all about how much she loved her engagement ring and her upcoming trips to celebrate the end of chemo and beating cancer. She was an absolute ray of sunshine to be around.
August 23, 2021
I was lucky enough to play on the club soccer team with Sophie at Duke. That group of girls was one of my core friend groups at college and Sophie was a big part of it. She had a larger-than-life personality and was just so much fun to be around. Our entire team was shocked and saddened to hear the news of her passing. My thoughts are with her family and I just want to say she brought joy to everyone she met.
August 22, 2021
Please accept my heart felt sympathy on the loss of your beautiful Sophie. Although I did not know her, I have been praying for your entire family.
August 22, 2021
As a little one, Sophie always shone so bright. I admired her quick sharp responses, and great confidence and joy of life. Most of all her dancing✨Sophie was so graceful and elegant, with incredible stage presence.
We shared a love of clothes and I remember shopping in London for beautiful dresses to send, and when Sophie visited we would shop together and always agreed on style.
As a student staying in London she would meet me after work in Hampstead or Regents Park, both which Sophie grew to love especially the heath where we met friends and family, and spotted movie stars! We went to a memorable Coldplay concert singing loudly on the way home. Our cosy cottage became Sophie’s home for that time in her life.
At momentous moments we seemed to be together again as a family, at Mark’s Wedding, and then Sophie Dad’s wedding to Heather, and Beatrix’s Christening. Sophie stayed in the cottage with me and Jacob for the Weddings. At the end of a long day we would curl up to an English movie. Sophie was staying in England for the last week of her Nanny’s life, January 2017. I really don’t know what I would have done without her that week, her strength, practicality & wisdom was beyond her years and seemed to carry us all through. Finally Sophie brought Andrew to stay for New Year 2018, and we all shared in her excitement as she showed Andrew, London.
We cannot believe our darling, granddaughter, niece and cousin Sophie Elizabeth, has left us, we had planned with Diana, to shop for Wedding dresses in London in the Spring, and we were so excited for her. Sophie’s beauty, intelligence, radiance, love and great kindness, will live on forever in our memories and always in our prayers. Beautiful Courageous Sophie Rest In Peace✨♥️✨
August 20, 2021
May you rest in peace beautiful girl. I never met you. But, in seeing your picture and being a resident of Chicago, I feel compelled and called to tell you and your family how terribly sorry I am for the loss of you. May you rest in eternal peace. From your smile I can see that you are a gift to the universe.