November 2021, 82, Maryland –
Shirley Jean Allen was born April 15, 1939, to the late Reverend George Peter Cooper and Lucille Banks Cooper in Elm City, North Carolina. After a brief illness, she was promoted to Glory on November 2, 2021. She never complained and her faith never wavered.
Shirley was raised and worked on the family farm in Elm City, NC. In 1958 she graduated from Frederick Douglas High School in North Carolina where she also drove the local school bus while attending high school. Shirley left home upon graduating from high school and headed to Washington, DC, where she met and married Robert Allen, Jr. To this union was born Ursula Allen, Shirley’s only child. Shirley worked two jobs and attended Federal City College in Washington, DC, graduating with a Bachelor of Administration in 1977. This led to her working as the Treasurer for the City of Glenarden, Maryland. Her second career was with the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections retiring as a Corporal Corrections Officer. While employed at the Department of Corrections, she met and married Jack Higgs.
Shirley, being raised by a Baptist Minister, accepted the Lord as her Savior at an early age. She was a member of Mount Ennon Baptist Church located in Clinton, MD for many years serving on various committees. When she moved to St. Mary’s County in 2006 she joined First Missionary Baptist Church of Lexington Park, MD. Sister Allen served with the Senior and Missionary Ministries and was also a member of the Adult Choir until her voice would no longer allow her to sing. Shirley was very well-known for her smothered pork chops’ during First Missionary’s W.A.R.M. seasons. To know her—was to love her. Her laugh was absolutely infectious, and she had no cut cards. Shirley told you how it was, and if she hurt your feelings, trust and believe it was always meant in love.
She is survived by her daughter Ursula Allen Harris (Alfred); two grandchildren Marcus P.M. Johnson and Toyin Jean Allen all of Lexington Park, MD; five grandchildren (by marriage): Jamal Bush, Stephen Borden, Monique McDow, Keon Harris and Shania Harris; one great-grandchild Addison Bond and is expecting a second great-grandchild “Milo” any day; four sisters: Frances Barnes of Goldsboro, NC, Channie Watkins of Elm City, NC, Mildred Best and Margaret Kornegay (David) of Goldsboro, NC; brother-in-law: Rembert Allen of Upper Marlboro, MD; three sisters-in-law: Jean Allen of New Bern, NC, Pauline Cooper of Goldsboro, NC and Nellie Gray Cooper of Wilson, NC; four special “daughters”: Betty Castain, Marilyn King, Carla Fletcher and Natasha Davis; two special “friends”: Ellen Scott and Diane Shaw: And a host of other relatives and friends. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers: Theodore, Christopher and Willard Cooper and two sisters: Winfred Clark and Nettie Gillis.