Marjorie Allen

Marjorie Allen, 89,

Deering and former long-

time Minot resident and

educator, died Monday,

September 20, 2021 in a

Salem, OR care center.

Marjorie Allen was

born in 1932 to Arnold

and Alice Thorpe of

Antler, ND. Her family

lived on a nearby farm

during her earliest years

but later moved into the

town itself. Her father

purchased the prominent

building at the center of

the town square where

they made their home.

Marjorie attended school

in Antler and graduated

with three other girls in

her class.

Marjorie faced many

challenges as a young girl,

including a

life-threatening bout with

rheumatic fever, through

all of which she became a

woman of noteworthy

resilience. But there were

happy times too. Marjorie

enjoyed lasting friend-

ships, worked for a while

at the Antler hotel’s ice

cream shop, and delighted

in occasional town dances

with live music provided

by traveling orchestras.

One very important ex-

perience for her was at-

tending a local Bible camp

where she met Jesus.

Though her faith was not

much affirmed in those

early days, it was genuine

and set Marjorie on a path

filled with blessings.

While still in high

school, Marjorie met War-

ren Allen, her future hus-

band, who served for a

short time as superinten-

dent of the Antler school

system. They were mar-

ried in a country church

near Antler on a very hot

August afternoon. Their

marriage would thrive un-

til Warren’s death at the

age of 96, over six decades


For a country girl from

a remote prairie town,

Marjorie achieved remark-

able things. She not only

graduated from college

but later, as a mother of

two teenaged kids, earned

her graduate degree in En-

glish from Sacramento

State University. Her gra-

duate thesis was on

Beatrix Potter, the English

writer and illustrator who

was best known for her

children’s books featuring

animals, such as The Tale

of Peter Rabbit. Marjorie

herself taught children’s

literature at Minot State

University for many

years. She was also a met-

iculous writing instructor,

laboring long hours over

student essays as she

worked to teach her

young charges how to arti-

culate their thoughts with

precision and clarity.

Throughout her mar-

ried life, Marjorie faithful-

ly loved and served her

husband and children.

After the Mouse River

flood of 2011 when they

lost their home just out-

side of Minot, she and

Warren moved to his

family’s homestead in

Deering. She became an

integral part of that com-

munity, trekking six days

a week (at her husband’s

insistence) to the town’s

cafe for lunch with the lo-

cals whom they so appre-

ciated. The townsfolk ap-

preciated them back and

included Marjorie among

the honored citizens.

After her husband died

in 2017, Marjorie moved

to Oregon to be near her

two children and their

families. She was able to

return to Deering for a few

weeks over a couple of

summers before her

health made the trip too

difficult. Even so, she

never forgot (or let her

kids forget) that Deering

was her home and always

where she wanted most to


Marjorie will be laid to

rest next to her husband

at a little cemetery just

outside of Deering. For

her family who survive

her, this little patch of

land on the vast northern

plains will always be sa-

cred ground until the day

the earth is made new and

we shall see each other

again face to face.

Her loving family in-

cludes: children Fred

(Sonia) Allen of Salem,

OR; daughter Jo (Alden)

Swan, of Keizer, OR;

grandchildren Hannah,

Charles, Jesse, and Joseph

(Fred’s children) and Elli-

ot, Isaiah, and Elizabeth

(Jo’s children); great

grandchildren, Riley and

Nora Jo Swan; and Wes-

ton and Emma (Allen)


Public Graveside ser-

vice: Monday, October 18,

2021 at 1:00 p.m. in Beth-

el Cemetery, Deering ND.

Visitation: At the

family’s request there will

not be a viewing, however

friends may sign a

memorial register book on

Sunday, October 17th

from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in

Thomas Family Funeral

Home, Minot.

Memorials: preferred

to Bethel Cemetery of


Those wishing to sign

the online memorial regis-

ter or share memories are

invited to use the expres-

sions of sympathy section

at (www.thomas