Allie Davison Guengerich, 1924-2019
Allie Louella Davison Guengerich was born at Wayland, Iowa on January 23, 1924, the daughter of Homer and Addie (Neff) Davison. As a child and youth she attended Cottonwood United Brethren Church near Wayland, Iowa, where she played piano and was baptized at age thirteen. She graduated from Wayland High School in 1942 as salutatorian, and where she met her future husband, who was her favorite high school teacher. After marriage, Allie was an active member of East Union Mennonite Church at Kalona and later Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA.
On February 27, 1943 she was united in marriage to L. Glen Guengerich by Bishop Sanford C. Yoder, president of Goshen College, at the Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois. The couple had taken a train from Iowa City to Chicago for the ceremony. The marriage was kept secret until an announcement party in May, 1943 at the home of the bride. They made their home in the Wellman and Kalona, IA area all of their married life until November 1999 when they moved to Harrisonburg, VA to be near more of their children and grandchildren. Allie loved to cook and entertain friends and family in their home. She also enjoyed quilt making, and gave numerous quilted creations to her children and grandchildren to be enjoyed for years to come.
In 1942 Allie began her elementary teaching career at rural Stringtown near Wayland, IA with several students only being a few years younger than herself. The next year she taught at East Lincoln (37 students ranging kindergarten to 8th grade) in the Kalona area, then taught grades one and two at Kalona Elementary in 1944. She took a leave from teaching from 1945-1961. During this time she gave birth and cared for their 5 children. In 1960 she made the decision to take night classes to finish her BA degree from Iowa Wesleyan College at Mt. Pleasant, IA. While working on her degree she taught 10 years at Middleburg near Kalona. Since this was a one room school with all grades, she taught a few students their entire elementary years. In 1971 she changed to Kalona Elementary teaching 2nd and 3rd grade for 18 years, with a total of 30 years teaching. Allie loved each of her school children, and referred to caring for them as her own. In 1982 she was honored with Teacher of the Year award. Following her years of teaching, Allie remained in touch with many of her students faithfully writing notes of encouragement and love to them, and was honored to attend many of their graduations and weddings, and enjoy the births of their children. During her last years she was blessed by many visits and letters from her previous students.
Her husband, L Glen, died January 24, 2005 after almost 63 years of marriage. Also preceding her in death were four brothers, Dale, Arthur, Kenneth, and Dean Davison and two sisters, Dorothy Wagner Hinkle and Erma Alliman.
Survivors include two sons, Lowell (Susan) Guengerich, Harrisonburg, VA; Galen (Beverly) Guengerich, Schwenksville, PA, and three daughters, Elaine (Verlin) Miller, Goshen, IN; Annette (Eugene) Ritter, Harrisonburg, VA, and Audrey (Corydon) Baylor, Richmond, VA. Also surviving is a brother Jim Davison (Washington IA) and a sister Phyllis Graber (Wayland, IA), and a number of beloved nieces and nephews.
Allie loved and adored her 12 grandchildren: Jeff (Katy) Guengerich (Gardiner MT); Janel (Rob) Andreev (Arlington, VA); Matthew (Karen) Miller, (Somerville MA); Joel (Allie) Birchler (Eugene, OR); Jesse (Andrea) Miller, (Evanston, IL); David (Michelle) Guengerich (Pennsburg, PA); Beth (Derek) Burleigh (Harleysville, PA); Ryan (Melissa) Ritter (Harrisonburg, VA); Jason (Samantha) Ritter, (Harrisonburg, VA); Leah (Camron) Conrad, (Harrisonburg, VA); Allie (Dean Williams) Baylor, (Richmond, VA); and Wells Baylor (Washington DC). Her 24 great-children were her continual delight as well.
Allie’s last years were spent at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center at Park Place and Warsack House in Harrisonburg, VA. She and her family appreciated the good care and friendships given to her there.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 10:30 AM at the East Union Mennonite Church in rural Kalona, with Pastor Joel Beachy officiating. A memorial fund has been established for the Harrisonburg Mennonite Church Compassion Fund.
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Harrisonburg Mennonite Church Compassion Fund
1552 South High Street, Harrisonburg VA 23801