You Know You're From...Marshfield: Pat Allen carries on husband's legacy
Within a matter of minutes of meeting Pat Allen, she was quick to brag about her late husband, Bill Allen.
"There's something about him that was.....magic," she said with a twinkle in her eye.
It was a love affair that was born at a local bar and grille, now known as Crabby Dave's, in January of 1957.
"A young man across the way who had just gone to choir practice," Pat said, "and asked the bartender who I was and the rest is history"
But just 63 days after celebrating 50 years of marriage, the love of her life passed away.
"Everyday he always told me he loved me."
That was more than 11 years ago when Bill died.
"I was a very bitter person after Bill died," Pat said.
"He was Mr. Marshfield," said Debbie Bauer.
Bauer, the program director for the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MACCI), has known the Allen's for more than 25 years, and understood what Bill, a longtime salesman at WDLB radio station, meant to Pat as well as the community.
"He believed in making this the community the best it could be and he did everything in his power to do that," Bauer added.
Now, after spending 50 years by Bill's side, Pat is front and center in Marshfield.
"MACCI. Hope Lodge. Marshfield Clinic Auction of Champions. PDC (Personal Development Center). Shirley's House of Hope. Marshfield Visitor's Bureau," said Pat, listing the organizations she's a part of.
"There isn't anything she doesn't financially support, or like I said, attend," said Bauer.
That's a lot of cookie jars for just two hands. But at 86 years young, she's showing no signs of slowing down.
"I get so much encouragement from people out there and that's what I thrive on," said Pat.
Over the last 11-plus years, Pat has done enough to step out of her husband's shadow, but that shadow is where she's happy to remain. Not about establishing a name for herself, but making sure no one forgets Bill.
"I'm the Mrs. Bill. I'll always be that way. Because I'm actually doing everything that he was doing. He was a good teacher, apparently."
From 2008-2017, with the help of the Chamber, Pat helped organize a charity golf event, Fore Bill, and raised more than 141,000 dollars that they'll continue to award in scholarship money the next 10-15 years.
If there's an extraordinary person doing extra-ordinary things in your community. Send your story ideas to Dale.Ryman@WSAW.com