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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • A holiday tradition

  • Shirley Allen created a holiday tradition with her home and yard decorations
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  • If you’ve ever crossed the intersection of 6th and Spring Streets in Heber Springs during a holiday season, you’ve probably noticed the little white house on the corner.  Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day, or even St. Patrick’s Day, this little house has always been decorated to celebrate the season, whatever the season might be.  This little celebration of holiday cheer was the work of the late Shirley Allen, who passed away in February of this year.  To honor her memory, her son Tony Allen and is wife Tonya decided to continue decorating the house for each holiday.  They sat down with us to tell us a little about Mrs. Allen.
     
    Allen was born in Bath, New York on February 12, 1938 and was a resident of Heber for the past 20 years.  “She was a head dietician at Old Main High School, “ said her son Tony.
     
    “But other than that she spent most of the rest of her life taking care of his other two brothers,” said Tonya.  “They’re in their 50s now and both blind.  She wanted to decorate for every holiday and dad said ‘Whatever mom wants, mom gets and that’s just the way it is, so when she passed in February I decided I would continue to decorate to honor her memory.”
     
    “She did Valentines Day, Flag Day, St. Patrick’s Day, you name it, she decorated for all of it,” continued Tonya.  “
     
    “At 60 something, she went back to school and got her LPN license,” said Tony.  “She volunteered her time at the clinic.  She loved volunteering down there.  She was originally Methodist, but when her first grandbaby was born she became Catholic.”  Allen was a member of St. Albert’s Catholic Church here in Heber Springs. 
     
    “Everybody knows her from the clinic,” said Tonya.  “She was strong willed.  She ran this house, she ran that clinic, and she was demanding, but she had a big heart and she would do anything for anybody. “
     
    “Mom was just mom,” said Tony.  “If you knew here you knew her. What you saw was what you got.”
     
    When asked if they would continue to carry on the tradition in the coming year, Tony and Tonya said they would probably decorate for major holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas, though they weren’t quite sure about some of the smaller holidays.
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    If you’re in Heber, drive by the corner of 6th and Spring and see the decorations honoring this gem of Heber and how she helped add another touch of special to Heber Springs.
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