Baker City, 1949-2021
Madeline “Pennie” (Allen) Dowdy, 71, of Baker City, died April 15, 2021.
She left this earth just like she came in — too early and in her own way. She was surrounded by some of the people who loved her most, but not nearly enough of them due to COVID.
A celebration of her life will take place later, the date to be announced, in her hometown of Baker City.
She was born on Sept. 13 in a year that’s none of your darn business (or 1949 for you nosey people) in Baker City, to Conrad and Madeline Allen. Pennie was the third of five children and often competed with her siblings to be the first troublemaker. Born Madeline, most know her as Pennie, a name she adopted because her dad said she was no bigger than a penny when she was born.
She leaves behind her greatest achievement, an unbelievably dysfunctional family, with the exception of her two brilliant (and constantly embarrassed by the antics) grandsons. This unruly group consists of more than those related by blood, as her adopted family extended far beyond her family tree. Pennie was a giver — a giver of wisecracks, life lessons, junk food, and friendship. But most of all she gave love — with a majority of it being the tough kind. She was renowned for her knack of telling it like it was and having a heart bigger than any of the ones found in the smutty novels that were never more than an arm’s reach away.
Her incredibly honest outlook and hope for the future made her the perfect foster parent, and so many young women benefited from her wisdom and her extensive and inappropriate vocabulary. She was who you called for advice and a good laugh, but not one who you put on speakerphone.
Pennie left her hometown in Oregon to join her daughter and son-in-law in Ohio in the mid-1990s, no one can remember exactly when as it’s been a really long 30 years. Looking back, we don’t know who was most excited about the move — Pennie, her daughter, or the city of Baker! But we do know it wasn’t her son-in-law.
All jokes aside, Pennie will be missed more than could be put in a few simple words ... or any that can be printed here, anyway.
Carrying on her legacy will be her daughter, Kim (Dan) Reed of Canton, Ohio; her two remarkable grandsons, Marcus and Derek Reed of Canton; her brother, Thomas (Lynn) Allen of Jacksonville Florida; her sister, Patricia Bork of St. Helens; her sisters-in-law, Jeannie Wright of Baker City, and Sandra Allen of Salem; her brother-in-law, Larry Piece of Mt. Vernon; and a list of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, foster children, friends, and adoring fans too long to list.
Although her family is heartbroken, they know that once Pennie gets through those Pearly Gates, St. Peter will have his hands full and less likely to focus on their misdeeds.
While the Allen family was first in line for looks and personality, they got the short end of the stick when it comes to longevity. Pennie was preceded in death by her parents, Conrad and Madeline Allen; her oldest brother, John Allen; her little sister, Suzie Pierce; her nephews, Thomas Allen, Charlie Allen, Bill Morris and Patrick Morris; and her brother in-law, Alan Bork. You know what they say about only the good dying young? Pennie was a terrible example of this.
If you would like to honor her incredible spirit, her family encourages you to go get a fountain Diet Coke, pick up a brand new pair of thongs (flip-flops), and a Harlequin romance book, then sit down and think about all the good that’s in this world, let out a choice four-letter word, and give your loved ones a hug.