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Fittingly, Maurine Neilson Allen, our mother, came into the world in the month of sunshine and flowers on May 30, 1930. From the beginning she has brought light and beauty to the world, wherever she goes — and she has been around the world!

Maurine is one of those people who seems to excel at everything she tries, which can be annoying, unless you are the loving, generous, and humble person that she is. She began her life of academic excellence by starting school a year early, then skipping a grade, eventually graduating Granite High School at the top of her class at age 16. Her high school experience included debate, drama, participating on her school’s quiz team, and being the fastest typist in her class. Her lifelong love of reading and learning is exemplary and admirable and maybe a little addictive. She loves libraries, book clubs, good books, scripture, poetry, magazines, newspapers (she reads every obituary!), dictionaries, crosswords (some might say she is a compulsive crossword puzzle solver) and word games.

Her love of music began with a fascination for the piano, leading to being an excellent pianist and spending her life playing for personal pleasure and accompanying soloists, choirs and congregations. A highlight of her mission (serving with husband Ross Allen) at the PCC in Hawaii was regularly playing the antique pump organ at the old mission chapel. Her favorite sports are tennis and shopping, and she excels at both! Though retired from playing tennis, she watches any tennis match she can find on television; however, she can still outpace many a shopper half her age. She loves shopping for anything fun and beautiful and has a penchant for greeting cards, beautiful stationery, and toys.

As a fiscally responsible young mother of six, she taught herself to sew by reading the directions, not only saving money but also becoming an excellent seamstress and tailor. She acquired her cooking skills in the same way, and her repertoire grew to include many international dishes as the family traveled and lived in various places around the world. She welcomed the beauty, culture and people of the countries she visited. In Japan she studied the art of ikebana. In Laos she adopted a pet monkey. In England she drove on the left side of the road. In China she learned to really appreciate America. Her life has been a joyful journey of beauty inside and out, humor and laughter, living and sharing her deep faith, facing setbacks and challenges with courage and grace, and nurturing her children, in-laws, grandchildren and greats. Happy Birthday #90, Tutu! Thank you for blessing us with your abundant light, love and beauty. The years look good on you!

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