- Lanny van Allen
March 25, 1936 ? March 27, 2015
Obituary of Lanny van Allen
On March 27th, Lanny, (Lilyanne) van Allen, Austin, TX., passed into the arms of her Savior. A woman of grace and ability, she will be remembered as a loving wife, devoted mother and grandmother, outstanding educator, a true Christian, esteemed friend, and inspiration to all who knew her. She is survived by her devoted husband of 55 years, Dirk, her loving son Jon and his wife Cheryl, and their two children, Keeley and Hudson. Daughter Gretchen preceded her to Heaven in 1979. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law and their husbands, as well as numerous cousins.
A memorial service will be held for Lanny on April 18th, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 209 W. 27th, Austin, Texas 78705. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to All Saints Episcopal Church and the many programs they support.
Lanny was born on March 25, 1936, the only child of John Wilson Gregory and Ruth Evelyn Coyler, in Somerset, Kentucky and spent her formative years in nearby Lancaster. In 1958, Lanny graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, with a Bachelor's degree in English. She was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumna of Centre College award, in 1999. She went on to acquire her Master's from George Peabody College, now a part of Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1991, Lanny earned her PhD from the University of Texas in Curriculum Development.
As the wife of a career Naval officer, Lanny raised her two children and taught reading and English literature on many different levels within the public school system. She spent fifteen years in the classroom, in 5 states, at the middle and high school levels. In those years she was twice departmental chair and twice interdisciplinaryteam leader. She finished her distinguished career as Director of Programs , English Language Arts K-12 Division of Curriculum and Professional Development at the Texas Education Agency. She was awarded the Richard Halle Educator of the Year award by the Middle School Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), for which she served as chairman for four years. She continually contributed to professional publications such as the English Journal, the Alan Review and numerous others.
Lanny van Allen was known to many and loved by all. Her participation in her beloved All Saints' Episcopal Church as a member of the vestry and the Adult Christian Education Committee, a Daughter of the King, founder and long-time leader of the All Saints' book club, and co-founder of the Upper Crust seniors' group will be sorely missed. She was the first female member and female President of the Exchange Club of Austin ( a community service club). In addition, she was a driving force in BookSpring's Reach Out and Read program whose mission of bringing the joy of reading to all children was one of her deeply held core values. Lanny was also an active member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for professional educators, she held many chairmanships of committees, as well as being president in 1994 through 1996.
She was a most gracious hostess, welcoming those into her home with true southern hospitality. Lanny was a mentor to many and gave so much of herself to the benefit of others. A true lover of the arts, literature and music, she was a champion of the theatre community here in Austin, where her husband, Dirk, has been performing for the past 30 years.
Later in life arthritis tried to make her life a terrible one but she prevailed and always managed to keep a smile on her face. She was so kind to all even though she hurt so much inside. Lanny will be greatly missed by all.