Carole Marie Allen

July 7, 1947April 3, 2014

Carole Marie Allen died peacefully April 3, 2014, at Hospice House in Concord, after a fierce and gallant nine-year battle against ovarian cancer.

She was born July 7, 1947, in Philadelphia, to the late Arthur Ford and his wife, Dorothy. She graduated from Malvern High School in 1965 where she studied secretarial science, but soon after pursued a registered nursing career, earning a scholarship to the rigorous Germantown Hospital nursing program, graduating in 1969 at the top of her class. The day she graduated she married Mel Allen, who at the time was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia. After a two-week-long camping trip in the coolness of the Adirondacks, the couple returned to equatorial Colombia, and soon the intense heat spurred them to plan a life where there was snow, and thus they arrived appropriately in Maine during a blizzard in 1970. While she worked as a nurse at various hospitals in Maine, she began exploring her interest in photography, which soon grew into a passion. She studied black and white photography and processing privately for a year with a seasoned professional photographer, and then discovered Maine Photography Workshops, where she studied intensively over several years. She and her husband produced numerous stories and photos for the Maine Sunday Telegram and Yankee magazine during the late 1970s, before they moved to New Hampshire in 1979.

Her photo assignments led her to find black bears in their dens, the potato harvest in northernmost Maine, white water rafting, back country canoe adventures, spending several days with the legendary Ted Williams at his fishing camp, and countless more portraits of New England characters. But when her sons, Daniel, born in 1985, and Joshua, born in 1988, came into her life, she found subjects that allowed her to take photos with the eye of the artist and the heart of a mother. Their childhoods may well be among the most lovingly documented anywhere, but never shot randomly and without purpose. Anyone entering her house in Keene where she lived for many years or her house in Dublin where she lived for the past 16 years would be struck by the emotional impact of so many of these images. She was a familiar figure at youth baseball games where her sons played, getting as close to the action as possible, seemingly impervious to the inherent danger of hard baseballs headed in her direction.

She joined the Monadnock Ledger 15 years ago, and there are few, if any, events and festivals within the paper's reach she did not capture. Her eye was always drawn to the people and moments that tell a story beyond a single frame. In her final days at Hospice House she kept two photos close by: one was a photo of her and her two sons, the other was her award-winning feature photo story on Crotched Mountain's spring pond skimming. Even in the depths of her illness, when she was so weakened by the effects of treatment, she would call her editors asking what she could photograph for the next edition. Every person she met it seemed would be “incredible” or “great,” especially the region's farmers with whom she shared a bond as she never tired of documenting their days.

She loved the water. Whether kayaking or swimming in Dublin Lake, or seeking the ocean waves, she was happiest when she could splash — or hike — or simply be outside in nature. Four days before her death, with her son Dan holding her on one side, and her son Josh on the other, they walked slowly outside for an hour.

People who knew her during the years of her battle marveled at her unyielding optimism and her deep belief that somehow she would find a miracle. Survivors include her mother; her sons, Daniel of Hawaii and Joshua of New Haven, Conn.; a nephew of California; her former husband, Mel Allen, with whom she shared her extraordinary fight to live; and her colleagues and many friends, none more special than Annie Graves.

Fletcher Funeral Home of Keene handled arrangements. Burial was private in Monadnock View Cemetery in Keene on April 6. A possible ceremony of remembrance is being planned for later in spring.

Donations may be made in Mrs. Allen's memory to Hospice House of Concord, 30 Pillsbury St., Concord 03301.


Carole Marie Allen

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Dawn Knowles

July 21, 2014

Oh Mel, Josh and Dan! If I had known you would have heard from me so much sooner! Dear Carole, you were so full of life even when it was difficult. I love you and will miss you so much! Rest in Peace old friend. Playgroup Mom's forever...

June 23, 2014

To a most valiant person who almost kicked it all the best your friend Dr geordie

Jane Blanchard

April 13, 2014

Having a zest for life and living to the fullest is relatively simple when life is "easy". Carole carried this way of life through her years of treatment, right to the end. Independant, positive, selfless. strong , fun and adaptive are words that remind me of Carole. I will miss our chanced and planned meetings, but always hold those warm memories.

Ann Duffy

April 9, 2014

Carole, I remember this beautiful Photo of your wonderful smile. I left Yankee in 1997 and will never forget your smile. You and Mel raised two wonderful sons. They must be so proud to have had you as their mother. They must know this is not Good-Bye, because you will watching and sending Mel and the Boys love from heaven. Stay cool ! If things go well I will see you in heaven!! I am sure you heard "Welcome my good and faithful servant!" When you got to heaven. You lived well and with strength and goodness. Rest, have fun and be happy now.

Ed Beem

April 8, 2014

So sorry to learn of Carole's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the boys, Mel.

Mary Lee Leedham

April 7, 2014

Carole through good times and bad you had the ability to make a loving difference to those around you. I will miss you and bless you for being a friend. Mary Lee

Al Struthers

April 7, 2014

I had the pleasure of working with Carol for many years. Loved her smile, her laugh, and the way she so expertly brought the world into view.

Andy Mullan

April 7, 2014

Carol had a zest for living that few could ever hope to emulate. I'm so lucky that I had the opportunity to bask in the rays of her personality while we worked together at the newspaper.

T Cadorette

April 6, 2014

We have many 'teachers' who pass in and out of our lives through the years. The most effective ones teach by example. Carole Allen was this kind of teacher and I was fortunate enough to have been one of her many 'students'.

Carole showed me that a resolute faith and a fierce determination pale in comparison to a boundless heart. A heart full of compassion and love for her family and friends ... a love of Life itself.

Thank you, Carole, for sharing your Light.

Mary Lou O'Neil

April 6, 2014

Life lessons from Carole: To throw your head back and exult in a tablespoon of tea, to revel in the miracle of human touch, to keep your gaze and gratitude focused on the vase of tulips in front of you - and not on what's not there, or the scary and unknowable out ahead. Thank you Carole. Well done.