June 19, 1926 – June 19, 2023
Mrs. Ida Daisy Epps Allen of 3413 North Street, South Chesterfield, VA entered eternal rest and peace on Monday, June 19, 2023, at Bon Secours Southside Medical Center in Petersburg, VA at the age of 97. She was born to William Henry and Ida Epps in Bermuda Hundreds in Chesterfield County, VA, the sixth of eleven children.
At a very young age, Mrs. Allen was transported down the Appomattox River by a mailboat to Hopewell, VA and then she walked several miles to school alone. Mrs. Allen attended Carter G. Woodson High School where she sang in the school chorus and played guard on the basketball team. Upon graduation, she attended Virginia State College (now University) and majored in Elementary Education. After completing two successful years there, she unselfishly withdrew to accept a job in New York to share financial assistance for her younger sister’s tuition. She later returned to Virginia State College and completed her course work earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Mrs. Allen was employed for one year by the Hopewell School System and subsequently began her teaching career with the Petersburg Public School System as a primary teacher, retiring in 1984.
Ida Allen met and married John Wesley Allen on August 25, 1951. He was the love of her life, and she affectionately called him, “Boyfriend” during their 54 years of marriage and until her last breath. She often shared that the last 21 years of their marriage were “perfect” during the time they shared retirement. They were blessed with one son, John Lamont Allen.
During her childhood years, Mrs. Allen attended the First Baptist Church Bermuda Hundreds where she began to cultivate her musical gift by singing in the church choir. Mrs. Allen later joined Zion Baptist Church, where she served faithfully as a longtime teacher in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and the Summer Enrichment Program. She was a co-founder and directress of the Cherubs, organized in 1975, which was a singing group composed of young children to age ten. Over the years, Mrs. Allen touched the lives of more than 140 of Zion’s young children by teaching them to sing God’s praise. For many years, the Cherubs presented an annual concert, which was a time for the ten-year old members to formally move to the youth choir.
In the late 1970’s, Mrs. Allen was chosen to direct the special choir for Zion’s Women’s Day service. This singing group of women enjoyed singing together so much, as well as the fellowship, that they remained together for several singing engagements, social activities hosted by Mrs. Allen, and purchased robes and hymnals. Mrs. Allen was a committed, strong, friendly, tenacious, and creative leader for the group. This group of singing women became known as the Women Fellowship Singers, or just The Fellowshippers, who provided music on designated Sundays for morning worship service and sometimes joined the J. B. Brown Memorial Choir for funerals. Mrs. Allen and “Faithful” Mrs. Barbara C. Johnson, pianist, worked hard and well together for more than 35 years.
During her years at Zion Baptist Church, Mrs. Allen served as a dedicated and faithful member of the Drama Ministry, the Singles Ministry, the J. B. Brown Memorial Choir, the Music Ministry, and the Youth Ministry.
Mrs. Allen was also very actively involved in the community. Some of her memberships included: Petersburg-Prince George Retired Teachers’ Association; Cosmopolitan (Bridge) Club; Third Monday Bridgettes, Elite Club, and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She also sang with the Goodwill Chorus.
Mrs. Allen was a kind, fun-loving, generous lady who enjoyed singing, composing songs, writing poetry, sharing humorous stories, and telling jokes. She loved to laugh, and her favorite quote was: “Life is FUN.” Those who knew her well often heard: “Speak for yourself,” “That’s how we roll,” and most often, “All is well.” She lived a life of contentment.
Preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and several siblings, Mrs. Allen leaves to cherish her memory: Her son, John Allen of Petersburg, VA; her granddaughter, Courtney Faucette of Philadelphia, PA; her sister, Paige Edwards (Cooper) of Annapolis, MD; her brother, Arthur Epps of Chesterfield County, VA; one sister-in-law, Daisy Hill of Prince George, VA; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
Services will be held 2:00 P.M., Saturday, June 24, 2023, at Zion Baptist Church, 225 Byrne Street, Petersburg, VA. The interment to follow at Wilkerson Memorial Cemetery.
J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.