Forty years ago, a young banker named Fred Allen and his wife Mary, a school teacher, joined the parish of St. Thomas’. This summer, they are moving to Annapolis to be closer to their daughter Michelle, a graduate of St. Thomas’ school and a professor at the Naval Academy, her husband and their grand-daughter.
Mary taught several generations of second grade girls at St. Thomas’ school: a Houston disc jockey who was once one of Mary’s students made her famous by often asking her listeners what “Mrs. Allen would say” about issues of the day. Mary served on the Altar Guild for many years, and she and Fred took charge of ensuring that St. Thomas’ was well supplied with communion wine.
Fred served several times as a vestryman and for a number of years as the Treasurer of the parish. He took charge of the money and ticket counting for the Fall Fair, and led one of our weekday Evening Prayer services and was a Sunday lay reader and chalice bearer.
On Sunday, July 15th, Father Bowhay presented Fred and Mary with a stone commemorating their years of service; it will be placed in the new entry plaza. A few tears were shed as their many friends said their farewells, and Fred recounted a conversation he had with another parishioner some years ago: “St. Thomas’,” they agreed, “is one of Houston’s best kept secrets.”