Mary Adaline Caton Norris Allen

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Mary Adaline Caton Norris Allen of Dallas, Texas, passed away on Oct. 31, 2018. She was born in Rich Hill, Mo., on March 3, 1927, to Goldie Wheatley Caton and Noah Lafayette Caton who were cattle farmers. She graduated valedictorian from Rich Hill High School and later graduated from P.E.O. Cottey College in Nevada, Mo. In 1949, she graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in nursing.

She married Howard Edgar Norris in 1949 and moved to Madison, Wis., where they had one daughter, Nancy Caton Norris Cadigan in 1955. Her early career as a registered nurse included two polio epidemics (before the Salk vaccine), private duty (before ICUís) caring for Guillain-Barre patients in iron lungs, and a TB sanitarium. It was the Waukesha Memorial Hospital where she found her greatest love, the emergency room.

She was widowed in 1965 and returned to Missouri. In 1967, she married Dr. Wm. H. Allen III and together they shared a love of medicine, music, and antiques. She worked for Nevada Regional Medical Center where she trained and inspired new nurses. By the end of her career she was the assistant director of nursing and in charge of the emergency room. She also opened the first professional nursing home in Nevada as the director of nursing and was active in the Missouri Nurses Association.

She was widowed again in 1979 and moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1991 to be near her daughter with whom she was very close. There she took every tour and lecture offered through the Richland College Emeritus Program. She also travelled throughout the world. She was an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation and a 50+ year member of P.E.O. International, holding offices to the state level. She loved piano and took lessons until age 90. She loved being Granny to her two grandchildren, Kathleen Cadigan Howard and Trevor Norris Cadigan. Sadly, her grandson preceded her in death on March 11, 2018.

Mary Adaline was known for her quick wit, flair, and joy of life. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.

She is survived by Nancy Caton Norris Cadigan, Sharon Gunn, Jerry Cadigan, Kathleen Cadigan Howard, Travis Howard, Cyndi Allen Writer, Pete Writer, Tony Allen Test, many cousins and dear friends.

All are welcome to her celebration of life. An interment of her ashes will be held at the Rich Hill Green Lawn Cemetary, at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 24. A memorial and reception will follow at 2 p.m., the same day at All Saints Episcopal Church in Nevada. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the Trevor N. Cadigan Memorial Scholarship Fund for Digital and Broadcast Journalism at Bishop Lynch High School.