Greensburg woman devoted 14,000 volunteer hours to hospital shop
Jeanne Allen was an extraordinary volunteer at the former Westmoreland Regional Hospital in Greensburg, dedicating more than 14,000 hours at the Hospitality Shop and Snack Bar.
“She was the buyer for the hospitality shop. She would go every Wednesday and Sunday” starting in the 1960s, said her daughter, Peggy Yusko. And her husband, Kenneth Jack Allen, did not seem to mind because that meant he could watch the NFL football games on Sunday, Yusko said.
It became a family activity when she and her sister, Barb, were old enough. They worked together at the snack bar, Yusko said, and were paid minimum wage.
Jeanne McHugh Allen of Greensburg died Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Redstone, a senior living community in Greensburg. She was 93.
She was born Feb. 20, 1925, in Apollo, the daughter of the late Gladys and Peter McHugh. She grew up in Irwin and graduated from Norwin High School.
Mrs. Allen met her husband on a blind date, and the couple were married in 1953, Yusko said. He died in 2007.
She was a stay-at-home mother, raising her two sons and two daughters, while her husband worked at West Penn Power Co.
Yusko recalled her mother was the “taxi driver” for the family, driving the children from their Orchard Avenue home to sporting events and to swim at Veterans Memorial Pool at Lynch Field in Greensburg.
Mrs. Allen and her husband joined other couples in a bridge club, where they would go out for dinner and then have dessert and play bridge, Yusko said.
They enjoyed attending the old Rolling Rock Races, which were run at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township. Those races in the 1960s and '70s attracted celebrities from Pittsburgh's social scene, bringing spreads of food to the countryside setting.
Before her husband retired, she got to travel around the country with him on business trips. They saw almost every state, Yusko said.
When her husband retired, the couple loved to spend time at their home on Jekyll Island, Ga.
Her recipe for “Irish pizza” was published in the Tribune-Review. She called the simple dish of stewed tomatoes, onions, peppers and toasted bread “pizza” because she said her children would not eat it otherwise.
“She was a great parent. She raised four kids in a three-bedroom house with one bathroom. Mom had to organize that on a daily basis,” said her son, David Allen.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by an infant son, Gregory.
Surviving are two daughters, Barb Gerard of Ohio and Peggy Yusko of Maryland; two sons, David Allen of Greensburg and Kenneth Allen of Youngwood; three granddaughters; and three great-grandchildren.
Parting prayers will be held at 9 a.m. today at Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg, followed by a funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg. Interment will follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.
Memorial donations may be made to Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children, 135 Clelian Heights Lane, Greensburg, PA 15601; or to Westmoreland County Food Bank, 100 Devonshire Drive, Delmont, PA 15626.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer.