In Memory of Carolyn Allen
Carolyn Sue Allen was born in Hannibal, MO, and was reared by her widowed mother. She married her high school sweetheart, had one child and later moved to Denver, CO, where she discovered politics. She enjoyed several years in the public relations industry and later was employed by the Colorado Republican Party, which expanded her universe. As a single mother she found that there were many areas of politics that directly affected her everyday life. She married a wonderful Texas oil man, Jack Allen in 2011 and they later decided to spend the winter months in the warmer climate of Scottsdale, AZ, moving permanently in 1984. Immediately, Carolyn became active in the community and soon was serving on local boards and commissions in the arts and in politics.
Prior to her first election to the Arizona House of Representatives in 1994, she was Development Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Scottsdale Cultural Council. She served as President of the Board and then, Executive Director of the Scottsdale Arts Center Association (now the Scottsdale Cultural Council). She was still serving in an advisory capacity to the Scottsdale Public Art Commission when she passed away. After being appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to the Arizona Commission on the Arts, she served two terms before retiring due to her health issues.
While serving eight years in the Arizona House, she was Chairman of Health Committee and sponsored major legislation in mental health care, air quality and civil rights issues. She went on to be elected to the Arizona Senate and there, too, she would rise to chair or co/chair many committees. She often said she was most proud of passing legislation to acquire more state trust land for the McDowell Mountain Preserve through the Arizona Preserve Initiative, which she sponsored with Governor Symington. And that she was the only Republican “no” vote on SB1070.
Additionally, Carolyn received numerous awards from civic organizations for her work in the arts, mental health, education and prison reform communities.* See the extensive list of awards and recognitions below.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, her son, Tony and her husband, P. Jack Allen. She is survived by her adored granddaughter, Jessica Glover and her husband, George and their children, Georgie and Harlie. They are grateful to the caregivers at Maravilla and Hospice of the Valley who allowed her to live her final months with dignity and comfort.
She lived a brightly colored and productive life and gave much to her community through thousands of volunteer hours for causes she championed. Her leadership through sensitive and dicey issues never failed to build bridges and improve situations. Despite suffering from crippling rheumatoid arthritis for more than 40 years, she soldiered on without complaint and set the bar very high for those who will follow, as she left a very large footprint. Her many friends will not forget her bright colors and determination.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, the Carolyn Allen Fund has been established at the Arizona Community Foundation for the Honorable Carolyn Allen, to honor her and her causes.
* Awards and Recognitions
- Chair, Greater Southwest Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation
- Recipient of Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped 2004 Humanitarian
- Scottsdale Woman of the Year - 2004
- Legislator of the Year, State Senate by Arizona Chamber of Commerce 2003
- Legislative Appreciation Award, Arizona Hospital Association 2003
- Member, Arizona Commission on Medical Education and Research
- Member, Governor’s Prisoner Re-entry Task Force
- Member, Maricopa County Comm. Of Justice System for the Mentally Ill
- Member, National Conference of State Legislators, Executive Council
- Member, Council of State Governments, Executive Board
- Legislator of the Year, AZ Petroleum Marketers Assn. 2003
- One the Top 50 Community Leaders, Scottsdale’s 50th Anniversary 2003
- Member, AZ Governor’s Film and Television Advisory Board, 2002
- Member, Commission on Women’s Health
- Member, Advisory Taskforce on Improving Outcomes for Incarcerated Women
- Scottsdale Hospitality Commission legislative award
- Member, Scottsdale Chamber, Legislative Development Committee
- Member, WIS HhHH List
- NCSL Effective Government Committee
- Fountain Hills Republican Forum
- Fountain Hills Republican Women’s Club
- Advisory Council, McDowell Sonoran Land Trust
- Member, Desert Foothills Land Trust
- Member, McDowell Park Association
- Advisory Board, Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped
- Advisory Board, Scottsdale Leadership
- Member, Scottsdale Forum
- Arizona Human Rights Fund, Individual Award
- Board Member, Institute for Mental Research
- Board Member, Healthy Arizona 2010
- Board Member, Arizonans for Cultural Development
- Member, ASU Nursing Advisory Board
- Member, World Affairs Council
- Morrison Institute
- Member, Arizona’s BioScience Roadmap Steering Committee
- Senator Jon Kyl Re-election Committee
- Precinct Committeeman
- Founder, Las Rancheras Republican Women
- Leadership Council, National Federation of Republican Women Board
- Chairman, Arizona Federation of Republican Regents
- Volunteer Chairman, Western Regional Reagan-Bush Committee 1984
- Member, Reagan Inaugural Committee
- Member Republican National Policy Forum
- Member, Arizona Republican Forum
- Board, Planned Parenthood
- Arizona Commission on the Arts, Vice Chair