Mary Emma Allen, 95

July 12, 2009

APRIL 22, 1914-JUNE 25, 2009

SYKESVILLE, Md. - Mary Emma Allen, who for the last year lived at Fairhaven Retirement Community in Sykesville, (Carroll County), Md., died Thursday, June 25, 2009 at age 95.

Until May, she had lived at Fairhaven with her sister, Helen Elizabeth (Beth) Joerdens, and her brother-in-law, Philip Joerdens Jr., who survives. Beth passed away Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at age 91.

Mary Emma was born April 22, 1914, in Halethorpe, Md., to Bertha Allen (nee Steinacker) and the Rev. Louis St. Clair Allen.


As a child, Mary Emma lived in parsonages mainly in the Baltimore City area and various communities in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, including Berkeley Springs and Keyser, as her father was a pastor in the Methodist Church.

She graduated from Forest Park High School in Baltimore City. She graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in music and also took her master's degree there. She later took additional courses at American University.

Mary Emma was employed by the Berkeley County Board of Education as one of its early full-time music teachers, starting about the late 1930s. She taught at various schools in the county, including several one-room schoolhouses. For 10 years, she taught in Baltimore County, Md., as a music teacher, primarily in the Catonsville, Md., area of the county. For a number of years, she owned and managed the Harmony Shop, a record and music store, on King Street in Martinsburg, W.Va.

She is a longtime resident of Martinsburg, having lived from about 1948 until 2007 on Red Hill, at what is now known as 1604 W. King St. in Martinsburg.

Her affiliations included Delta Kappa Gamma, Professional Educators Society, Berkeley County Historical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution and Calvary United Methodist Church in Martinsburg, where for many years, she was choir director and organist.

She is survived by one niece, Kimberly Vanous, and one nephew, Philip (Tad) Joerdens III, both of Ellicott City, Md.

Funeral arrangements will be provided by Brown Funeral Home, Martinsburg. An evening memorial service is planned for Thursday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Methodist Church, Martinsburg. The family will receive visitors at 5:30 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church, before this service. Interment will be at a private ceremony at the family grave site at Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Md., before the memorial service.

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