ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Susan Allen, 72 years old, born on May 19, 1948, and passed away on February 16, 2021. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Bev Borges on March 24, 2021
I am very sad to hear about Sue’s passing. Sue and I, as well as Mary, Kay, Jolene, & Marsha spent many hours together in high school. One of my favorite memories is when I accompanied Sue and her parents to UC Berkeley to visit Sue’s sister and attend a Cal football game. I had such a great time.
Sue and I lost touch with each other after we went away to college but I often thought of her and the many memories we shared.
RIP Sue.
Posted by Jim Ringland on March 1, 2021
When I met and married Karen Ivy in 1986, I discovered she had a sister, Sue. Smart. Beautiful. And a consummate horsewoman. I think that's the Sue I wish to remember, first in the hills in the Peninsula part of the San Francisco Bay area and later in the desert outside Las Vegas. A desert, I'd note, she clearly loved, as the home she and JD built shows -- a home once in wilder surroundings than today. In the Gallery, I've added a few pictures of Sue and JD working the horses in Las Vegas from March 1991.
Posted by Linda Buligan-Buchanan on February 27, 2021
Sue, I met you about a year after this picture was taken. You were a great friend and mentor to both of us over all these years. We miss all the time we got to spend with you, especially helping you make your pumpkin pies, christmas cookies and fudge. We still have and use many recipes we got from you. 
We will miss all of rhe talks we had with you over the years.
We know you are now free, you can move freely and are again riding your horses and loving up your dogs.
We send you much Love
Linda and Juli
Posted by Gennie Char-Houser on February 25, 2021
“I will miss her too, and will carry her in my heart, always.”
Posted by Sharon HendricksonPfeil on February 24, 2021
Dear Susan,
You have journeyed with me as a sister-friend for many years. I have so many wonderful memories of days we spent together riding, hiking and laughing on the ranch. I know what a good listener you could be and what a huge heart you had for your friends and for anyone you met who was in need. What a love for horses and what generosity. And such courage as you fought for your health and your independence, gradually letting go of so many things you loved to do while still finding ways to make a difference in your community.
My daughter and granddaughter still speak about "Tía Susan" with love. You gave them a sense of family and like so many others they looked forward to your Christmas cookies and fudge. I pray that somewhere you are once more
experiencing the freedom and joy you felt during those early days as you rode though fragrant mesquite bosques, coming home from exploring mesas and canyons. You always loved the mesas the best. The Navojo (Dine) people knew. I would like to share the Navajo (Dine') closing prayer of the blessing ceremony: Walking in Beauty:
In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
Hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo
T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…

Blessings to you Susan and to Karen, JD, Gennie and to all who love you.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Bev Borges on March 24, 2021
I am very sad to hear about Sue’s passing. Sue and I, as well as Mary, Kay, Jolene, & Marsha spent many hours together in high school. One of my favorite memories is when I accompanied Sue and her parents to UC Berkeley to visit Sue’s sister and attend a Cal football game. I had such a great time.
Sue and I lost touch with each other after we went away to college but I often thought of her and the many memories we shared.
RIP Sue.
Posted by Jim Ringland on March 1, 2021
When I met and married Karen Ivy in 1986, I discovered she had a sister, Sue. Smart. Beautiful. And a consummate horsewoman. I think that's the Sue I wish to remember, first in the hills in the Peninsula part of the San Francisco Bay area and later in the desert outside Las Vegas. A desert, I'd note, she clearly loved, as the home she and JD built shows -- a home once in wilder surroundings than today. In the Gallery, I've added a few pictures of Sue and JD working the horses in Las Vegas from March 1991.
Posted by Linda Buligan-Buchanan on February 27, 2021
Sue, I met you about a year after this picture was taken. You were a great friend and mentor to both of us over all these years. We miss all the time we got to spend with you, especially helping you make your pumpkin pies, christmas cookies and fudge. We still have and use many recipes we got from you. 
We will miss all of rhe talks we had with you over the years.
We know you are now free, you can move freely and are again riding your horses and loving up your dogs.
We send you much Love
Linda and Juli
her Life

Sue's Life and Times

Since I'm writing this, I'll write it in the first person. I am Susan's older sister Karen, and these are my memories of her life.  This is a work in progress for me, and you may come back and find new entries.

Susan Carol Ivy was born in 1948, in Vallejo, California, to Lestle Warren Ivy and Mary Jean Henderson Ivy.  They met during World War II through Mare Island Naval Shipyard.  He was originally from Missouri; she was originally from Ontario, Canada.  The family lived in Vallejo until 1950, when they bought a house in Napa and moved there.  Susan and I grew up in Napa and attended school there through high school.  I don't have many memories of Sue's friends, we generally moved in different circles, although we got along pretty well.  I do remember that at one point in our teens, we both went up the Napa Valley and got our first horseback rides.  I was mildly interested.  Susan was totally hooked, and horses were as much a part of her life as she could manage, from then on.

Susan followed me to the University of California, Berkeley in the fall of 1966.  She graduated 4 years later, but I don't know what her undergrad degree was in.  While she was doing all that, I was taking my own B.A. and Master's in Library Science from Berkeley, and then getting my first job; I was kind of out of touch.  After Berkeley, she attended graduate school at what was then Hayward State University (now California State University, Hayward), from fall 1970 to spring 1975, when she graduated with a Master's in Public Administration. 

Sometime in 1975, Sue moved to Mountain View, closer to Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park.  She shared an apartment with a roommate named Polly (I forget her last name) - and with a dog.  In addition to the horses she loved, I don't think Sue was without a dog from the time she was a teenager in Napa.  I've uploaded photo of Sue with Rufus, the coon hound, in the Mountain View apartment in 1975.

Rufus was a friendly but largely untrainable dog (I'm told coon hounds are untrainable); the only command they ever got him to obey was, "Stay out of the kitchen!" 

The interesting thing about 1975 is that she started work with what was then Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in 1974 - she must have been an intern while in grad school.  SRI tells me she worked there until 2013.  It was the only permanent job she ever had.  They couldn't tell me what divisions she worked for, but I have some memories of her early stories.  I was told she worked on the first 911 installation, in San Jose.  I do know she did an extended consulting stint with AT&T, in New York City, in the late 70's.  She told hilarious stories about it.  Apparently, pre-breakup AT&T had a very rigid dress code for its executives, who were all men.  Low ranks wore gray.  Next rank up could add a chalk stripe.  Next rank up could add a pinstripe.  Next rank up could go navy blue, and so forth. And in the middle of all this rigid masculinity was my sister, visibly female, 5' 11" in her sock feet, wearing heels which put her over 6', wearing what I'm sure was an elegant green business suit.  They had trouble dealing with her, and she had trouble dealing with them - she said they complained that she "fidgeted" in meetings.  (I bet she did.)  I never heard the outcome of that consulting gig, just the stories about clothes and culture clashes.

After a few years of corporate and civic consulting, though, she moved to a new division and began consulting for the Department of Defense, which I believe she continued for the rest of her working career at SRI.  I remember a number of years when she was in China Lake, where there's a Naval Air Station.  I remember her telling me stories, early in her career working with the military, of working on a bombing range in (I think) Arizona or Nevada, doing some kind of instrumentation monitoring, as aircraft were dropping bombs around her!  I also remember a story of her sitting in the cockpit of a military airplane, I think a fighter jet, and doing work on the AWACS system.  And later in her career she was doing quality control on the software for a pilot training simulator at Naval Air Station Fallon (Nevada).  She used to tell stories about drinking in bars with military pilots.  She also worked at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, Nevada; and I think it was at Nellis that she met James David Allen, known universally as J.D., an Air Force fighter pilot, stationed at Nellis.  She married him on May 28, 1989 - the wedding was in the Napa Valley at a well-known resort.  At that point she moved to Las Vegas to live with J.D.  At some time around the marriage, he retired from the Air Force rather than be "promoted to a desk," so they stayed in Las Vegas, bought some land in the west valley, and built a house.

At some time in the middle 90's, Sue started having trouble climbing the stairs at the house where they lived; she had to pull herself up by the rail.  This was one of the reasons they decided to build a new house, with no steps.  In 1997, she was diagnosed with polymyositis, a very rare autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the muscles, in her case on the left side of her body.  This was confirmed around 2001 or 2002 by a visit to the Mayo Clinic, for a second opinion.  She continued to ride horses until around 2004/05.  In early 2006 she had a couple of bad falls which damaged her good right foot and was persuaded to get a walker, which reduced the falls.  She was still driving a small amount.  But over the next years, her condition gradually deteriorated.  I forget when she finally became unable to walk assisted, but she did, and required 24 x 7 care-giving and a Hoyer lift to get her from the bed to the wheelchair.  At sometime in the late teens her polymyositis actually went into remission, but she still couldn't walk. She began exercising at home to try to build up her leg muscles, and by 2019 had actually bought leg braces.  

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down.  Sue did not catch it, nor did any of her caregivers.  But she had glaucoma, and around May 2020 her glaucoma suddenly spiked.  She lost the sight in her right eye, and the glaucoma made her doctors hesitant to replace the cataract in her left eye.  This left her basically blind; her primary recreation was reading and watching television.  At this point I think she gave up.  Over the next few months she became increasingly inactive and unresponsive, and her health deteriorated even more.  She died at home, in hospice, on February 16, 2021.
Recent stories

Berkeley, 1967-68 - the Hare Krishnas

Shared by Karen Ivy on March 23, 2021
In the fall of 1967 I entered the U.C. Berkeley Library School as a grad student, and moved into a studio apartment in the Palazzo, a pre-war (possibly pre-World War I) apartment house on Telegraph Avenue between Haste and Channing.  That was Susan's sophomore year, and she was also living in a larger apartment in the Palazzo, with a roommate.  My studio was on the 4th floor with windows on the alley.  Her apartment was on the 6th floor with windows facing Telegraph Avenue.

At this time, the Hare Krishnas were very publicly in Berkeley.  They stood on Telegraph Avenue and chanted loudly for extended periods, often under her windows.  This annoyed Susan greatly, and she went down a couple of times and asked them to stop.  They told her, "We bring you joy."  She responded, "You make me crazy."  But they continued.

The Palazzo was heated with steam heat, driven by a boiler in the basement.  The windows facing the street had steam radiators under them.  The residents had learned that the steam valves dripped, so many of us had buckets under the valves.  One day, as the Hare Krishnas chanted below, Sue was standing by the window and realized that the bucket was about half full.  She thought for a minute.  Then she picked up the bucket, opened the window, and poured the water out on the chanters.  They stopped briefly, milled around, and then began to chant again.  She took the bucket into the kitchen and filled it, and as they continued to chant, she dumped the full bucket out the window on them.  They milled around a little longer, and them moved across the street to a different corner.  She could still hear them but they were farther away.  I don't believe they ever stood under her windows again.