Wednesday, May 8, 2019
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Alpine Township Hall
5255 Alpine Avenue NW
Comstock Park, MI 49321
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With unending love and devotion for her family, Dolores Allen was one of the most patient people around. Generous and loving, she was always looking for ways she could help others in ways both great and small. Although she treasured her role as a mother, Dolores just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. A longtime resident of the community she loved, she was the sort of person everyone seemed to know. Life will never be the same without Dolores here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, which gave way to a soaring unemployment rate that left countless American families feeling the stress and strain of the times. Despite the trials around them, Godfrey and Minnie (Feenstra) Chrisman were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the heat of the summer held the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, firmly in its grip in July of 1931. Their wait was finally over when the baby girl they named Dolores Elaine drew her first breath on July 25th. She was the fourth of seven children as she was joined in her family by her siblings, Ken, Lyle, Wayne, Dolores, Ronald, Larry, and Glenda. All of the Chrisman children were close as Dolores was eight years older than her youngest sister, Glenda, with whom she shared a special relationship growing up. Her father worked at General Motors and also had a family farm in Rockford while her mother was a homemaker. As a family they attended Dutch Reformed Church. Dolores attended both Rockford and Godwin schools, but she didn’t graduate. As a teen she did a lot of babysitting, and as a young lady she enjoyed showing off her convertible.
New and exciting changes were in store for Dolores when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was Daniel Allen, and they met while they were both working at Knape & Vogt Manufacturing in Kentwood. They began dating, and it didn’t take them long to fall in love. With the desire to build a life together Dolores and Daniel were married on November 6, 1954. The newlyweds took a memorable honeymoon to Niagara Falls. The couple then settled into their first home on Stocking Street, and shortly thereafter they bought their house on Grand River Drive, NE. This became their forever home, and once they began having children, Dolores was able to focus her time and attention at home.
There was never anything of greater importance to Dolores than her family. Together they had eight children, David, Dennis, Debra, Dianne, Darla, Dawn, Doug, and Danielle, all born from 1955 through 1970. Then, they adopted their son, Jason, who made them a family of 11. As a mother Dolores was easy going with patience that never ran dry. She always had a houseful whether her own children or additional ones. Dolores has been called a “Kool-Aid” mom as she was always there for them. She was the one who taught them all to ride a bike, and she also taught most of them to play baseball. No matter what they were doing, Dolores was there to teach, guide, and support her children. As a family they attended Berkley Hills Wesleyan Church, and during the summer they often spent Sundays at Green Lake. The Allen family also enjoyed annual trips to Cedar Point as well as a week long stay at a rented cottage, which often included additional relatives.
Later in life Dolores was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother. Her grandchildren adored her, and she was an active part of their lives. Dolores had quite an extensive collection of Barbies, which her granddaughters were thrilled to receive one day. They had a trampoline in the backyard, and she also took her grandchildren on frequent walks in the woods. They hosted plenty of cookouts, and later in life Dolores often went camping with her children and their families. She was an amazing cook, and among her family’s favorites were her homemade spaghetti sauce, pot roast, meatloaf, blueberry cake, and monster cookies. Always looking for new ideas, she enjoyed clipping recipes.
Although most of her time was spent focused on her family, Dolores did enjoy pursuing some of her interests. She was an avid reader who would read all kinds of fiction including books from her favorite authors, James Patterson and Stephen King. Dolores and Daniel ate at Lanning's Restaurant on Leonard Street every Tuesday night.
All who knew Dolores Allen would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She could be a bit stubborn at times, but she was also one of the most patient and kindhearted people you could ever meet. Dolores had a spirit of generosity that was unmatched, and her devotion to her loved ones was easy to see. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
ALLEN, Dolores E.
Grand Rapids, MI
Age 87, passed away at home May 4, 2019 with her loving family by her side. Dolores was born July 25, 1931 in Grand Rapids to the late Godfrey & Minnie (Feenstra) Chrisman. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Daniel Allen; grandson, Scott Allen; and brothers, Kenneth, Lyle, Wayne, & Larry. Dolores is survived by her children, David Allen of Comstock Park, Dennis Allen of Grand Rapids, Debra Allen of Comstock Park, Dianne (Bob Goetzal) Allen of Grand Rapids, Darla Allen of Grand Rapids, Dawn (Matthew Ryan) Barber of Grand Rapids, Doug Allen of Grand Rapids, Danielle Allen of Grand Rapids, Jason Allen of Grand Rapids; 20 grandchildren; & 37 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Ronald Chrisman; sister, Glenda Didon; sister-in-law, Carol Chrisman; and many nieces & nephews. Friends and family will gather on Wednesday May 8 from 4-7 PM at Alpine Townsip Hall, 5255Alpine NW. Memorials may be made to American Heart Association. Please visit Dolores’ personal web page to read more of her life story, leave a memory or condolence at www.lifestorynet.com.