Marie B. Allen


Mrs. Marie B. Allen, 92, of Oak Bluffs, passed away on Feb. 4, 2023.

Marie was born on May 25, 1930, to Edward James Bowling and Mary Frances (Redmond) Bowling. After graduating from Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls in 1947, she went on to study at Northwestern University at night, and worked a government job during the day in Chicago, Ill. 

In 1946, she met Milton George Allen, and they wed in 1951, and had two children, David Milton Allen and Stacey Allen Johnson. 

She owned and operated a secretarial service for 25 years, served as a justice of the peace and notary public, and operated the Montessori Family Center for two years. 

She was hired at an entry-level position at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and rose to become a project coordinator. While working at the MBTA, in 1979 Marie earned a master of education degree from Antioch University, majoring in administration and management. Marie served as the assistant secretary of personnel and affirmative action at the Executive Office of Transportation under the William Weld administration. Marie also served as a board member of Unity Bank and Trust, as the executive secretary at the Boston branch of the NAACP, and on several municipal boards in Boston.

She retired from the MBTA in 1995, and moved permanently to Martha’s Vineyard, serving 20 years as a governors’ appointee to the Martha’s Vineyard NAACP branch; 24 years on the Oak Bluffs board of assessors; 12 years as a board member and clerk of M.V. Island Elderly Housing, and 12 years as conservator of Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.

Marie was a NAACP member and passionate about civil rights from an early age, and served in various positions at the Boston NAACP, and in 1984 joined the Martha’s Vineyard branch of the NAACP, where she served as secretary to the executive committee, and as first vice president. Marie was elected president of the M.V. NAACP in 2004, and served with exemplary accomplishments, doubling the membership, and instituting its first website and email program. She received recognition from the NAACP New England Area Conference (NEAC) for “outstanding efforts to assist and support the Hurricane Katrina survivors”; was a recipient of the John A. Morsell Award “in recognition of outstanding programmatic achievements in furthering the aims and objectives of the Association”; a recipient of the Soaring High President Award “for exceptional service as president of the Martha’s Vineyard Branch NAACP”; and recipient of the NAACP Northeast Region Living Legend Award “for consistent and unselfish commitment to the cause of human and civil rights by serving as a dedicated volunteer of the NAACP, giving your time, talent, and resourced to improve the lives of others.” She continued to serve on the M.V. NAACP executive committee. On Sept. 22, 2017, at the 79th annual meeting of the NAACP New England Area Conference, she was presented the Living Legend Award.

Marie enjoyed extensive travels, knitting, and making contemporary and ethnic jewelry. We will miss her greatly. 

Marie is survived by her children, David M. Allen and Stacey A. Johnson; and her grandchildren, Kendall Johnson, Nolan Johnson, Garrett Allen, and Sesana Allen. 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to NAACP Martha’s Vineyard, in memory of Marie Allen (“Marie Allen Fund” on the memo line), P.O. Box 1513, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Please contact Alex Palmer with any questions:

The family has created a site,, where friends and acquantances can post memories, stories, and condolences. 

There will be a celebration of her life in early summer, with the date and location to be announced.