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Mary Ethel Houser Allran
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Birth: Jan. 19, 1925
Lincoln County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Dec. 25, 2012
Beaufort County
North Carolina, USA

Mrs. Mary Ethel Houser Allran, of Hickory, died peacefully Christmas night,Dec. 25, 2012, in Bath, N.C.

She was born in Lincolnton Jan. 19, 1925, to the Rev. Jacob Emmanuel Beauregard Houser and Mamie Hoover Houser. She was the youngest of four children; her older brothers were John, Jeb, and David. Her mother died when she was an infant, and she was raised in the family home by her grandmother, Juniatta Wilson Hoover and her grandfather John Edney Hoover, and her Aunt Katie Hoover, of the home.

Throughout her life she spoke fondly of her wonderful childhood growing up in Lincolnton, where she had a large extended family, as her deceased mother had five sisters. Even though her father was a Methodist minister, she grew up in the Lutheran denomination. Her Lutheran faith led her to Lenoir-Rhyne College, where she majored in early childhood education. She taught fourth grade for two years prior to marrying her sweetheart, Albert Allran, of Hickory, whom she met at Lenoir-Rhyne. Albert fell in love with her at first sight. Then he joined the Army Air Corps to serve his country in World War II. When he returned after four years, a decorated fighter pilot with the rank of Major, the two were married in 1947. They were married for 40 years until Albert's death in 1987. Mary Allran was first and foremost a loving wife and mother, devoted above all to her family. She raised her four children selflessly and supportively. But she was also active in social, civic, and church affairs. These included the Daughters of the American Revolution; the Hickory Service League; her book club; her bridge club; and especially Corinth Reformed Church of Hickory, the church of her husband's family for six generations, where she was a member for nearly 70 years. There she sang in the choir, was a member of the Orpha Althouse Circle, the Altar Guild, and also served as a member of the Consistory.

She was supportive of her husband in every way, including his career as a textile industrialist and his loyal service to Lenoir-Rhyne College, which spanned five decades and culminated in his being named Interim President of the college from l983 to l984. For their service and in his and Mary Allran's honor, a scholarship fund, the Albert and Mary Allran Scholarship, was established. Mary and Albert were active in a number of social endeavors, including their being original members of the Hickory Cotillion and original landowners of Hound Ears Club. They were charter members of Catawba Country Club, of which Albert served a term as President in 1964. Known for her great sense of humor and polite Southern manners, Mary Allran was also a strong-willed person who instilled positive values in her children and grandchildren. She loved her friends. She loved books and libraries. She liked sewing, playing bridge, refinishing furniture, and quietly taking part in life. She instilled her love of books and words in her children.

She is survived by her four children and four grandchildren: her daughter Lynn Allran Mason and son-in-law John Leon Mason Sr., with whom she had resided for the last six years; her son Sen. Austin Allran and wife, Judy; her son Jeb Allran and wife, Ellen; and her daughter Janet Allran Berry. Her grandchildren are John Leon Mason Jr. (wife, Emily); Elizabeth Allran Whitley (husband, Warren), of Raleigh; Catherine Houser Allran McWilliams (husband, Greg); and Katie Ellen Allran. She is also survived by her very dear friend Catherine Bowles, with whom she grew up and with whom she shared a life-long friendship. Growing up in Lincoln County was special to Mary Ethel Houser, and she always appreciated her family history. Her grandfather, John Edney Hoover, was the Superintendent of Schools for Lincoln County and a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. He had followed in the footsteps of his father-in-law, Coatsworth Wilson, who was also a member of the N.C. House as well as a farmer and a Methodist minister. Mary Ethel, as she was referred to while growing up in Lincolnton, received her upbringing in the Lutheran Church as a result of the heritage of her great-great-great-great grandfather, the Rev. Johann Gottfried Arends (The Rev. John Godfrey Arndt) whose ministry began in 1775 and who was the first president of the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church, which he had helped found in 1803. He was one of the earliest pastors of Old St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Newton, as well as St. Paul's, Startown, and St. John's Lutheran Church near Conover. 150 years later, Mary and Albert Allran were married in St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Hickory. Mary Allran brought love, joy, and laughter to all those who knew her throughout her life, even in her latter years.

She and her family would like to thank God for his enduring and limitless love, and extend a special thank you to the loving, selfless team of caregivers from Vidant Hospice who assisted her daughter, Lynn Mason and son-in-law, Leon Mason, in caring for her in the latter years of her life during her struggle with Parkinson's disease.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 29, at Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory, with Pastor William Howell officiating.

A private burial will be held at Oakwood Cemetery, Hickory, prior to the service.

The family will receive friends at the church following the service.

Memorials may be made to the Albert and Mary Allran Scholarship Fund at Lenoir-Rhyne University, P.O. Box 7227, Hickory, NC 28603; or the Orpha Althouse Circle at Corinth Reformed Church, 150 16th Ave., N.W., Hickory, NC; or the Catawba County Historical Association for the Education and Religion Room, P.O. Box 73, Newton, NC 28658.

The Allran family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home in Hickory.

Published in Hickory Daily Record from December 27 to December 28, 2012.

Family links: 
  Jacob Emanuel Beauregard Houser (1884 - 1973)
  Mary Ethel Hoover Houser (1890 - 1925)
  Albert McCoy Allran (1924 - 1987)
  Mary Ethel Houser Allran (1925 - 2012)
  Pantha Vashti Houser Penley (1933 - 2013)**
*Calculated relationship
Oakwood Cemetery
Catawba County
North Carolina, USA
Created by: The Kinsman
Record added: Jan 23, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104051985
Mary Ethel <i>Houser</i> Allran
Added by: Elizabeth Allran Whitley
Mary Ethel <i>Houser</i> Allran
Added by: The Kinsman
Mary Ethel <i>Houser</i> Allran
Added by: Elizabeth Allran Whitley
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 Added: Oct. 16, 2013

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