Obituary: Janet A. (Simmons) Allen, 78

October 31, 1945 ~ January 18, 2024

Janet A. (Simmons) Allen, beloved wife of the late Richard (Dick) S. Allen, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 18th, 2024.  Born in Somerville, MA, she is the daughter of the late Allen and Doris (Riley) Simmons. 

Janet is survived by her two sons: Matthew Allen and his wife Laura of Bedford, and Christopher Allen of Reading.  She was the devoted Nana to her three grandsons, Ryan and Reese Allen, and Jack Allen. In addition she was a caring sister to her sibling William Simmons of Wenham, MA, and loving aunt of Jordin Simmons of Louisville, CO.  She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.

Janet’s family lived in Somerville when she was young, and she would often roller skate to Davis Square when she was old enough. Later, the Simmons family moved to Saugus, MA. She always told stories about how the family would go camping at Lake Waukewan in NH for weeks at time in the summer when she was young. She attended Saugus High School and graduated as a member of the Class of 1963. It was in these years that she made friendships that would become a source of strength, happiness, comfort, and good laughs for a lifetime. Janet married Dick Allen, also from Saugus, in 1967. After starting a family and living in Medford, MA for several years, they moved to Reading, MA in 1975. 

When the boys got older, Janet started to take Real Estate classes. In 1980 she started her first job as a real estate broker in Reading. Over the years Janet would become a top broker, and she seemingly knew every real estate person, every lawyer, every bank person, and everyone else, in the town of Reading. She was a member of many community committees in the Town of Reading. She became business partners with Dagnese & Strout real estate.  She also became President of the Eastern Middlesex Association of Realtors (EMAR), and in 2007 she was the EMAR “Realtor of the Year” and later an EMAR Board of Directors member. For many years until her retirement, Janet was the Sales Manager for the Johnson Woods condominium development in Reading. She always loved being in the middle of the action in the town. 

For recreation, Janet had a variety of activities which she loved.  The young Janet was a roller skater, ball-player, and yo-yo champion. She started skiing in her 40’s, and she enjoyed being on the slopes. She also started golfing, and joined the Meadowbrook Country Club, where she met many dear friends. She was also in a candlepin bowling league for a time.

She and Dick took ballroom dancing lessons and would dance at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, MA.

Janet loved vacationing with the family on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH, and Boothbay Harbor in Maine, and she and Dick frequently went golfing at the Jack O’Lantern Resort in Woodstock, NH, with friends and family.  One of the highlights of her life was going with Dick on a trip to Italy with a group of good and hilarious friends, and they saw many places, had tremendous fun, and ate great Italian food. She talked about it for years!

She was always fascinated by people with singing talent, and she eventually got a  karaoke machine. Family and friends would sing karaoke songs with her in the basement (and Janet would not take “No” for an answer!). She and Dick began to go see piano entertainers at the Continental Restaurant in Saugus and other venues, and Janet may have joined in on a song or three from time to time. It was there that they met John O’Neil, who became great friends of Janet and Dick, and invited them to be a part of the Boston Cabaret singing and entertainment family. Many weekends they were to be found at the Club Cafe listening to singers, having fun and singing.

Janet was tireless in her support and love of her grandson Reese when he was hospitalized in Boston Children’s Hospital for many months when he was 2 years old. She and Dick were in his hospital room for many hours and many days every week. When they were not at the hospital, they took care of Reese’s brother Ryan. They worked very hard, and worried a lot about the boys, but they were very thankful and relieved when the health crisis was resolved successfully.

Throughout her life, Janet always loved interacting with people, and her energy, her wit, and her laugh will be missed.

Family and friends are cordially invited to visitation at the Cota Funeral Home, 335 Park St., North Reading (Corner of Park St. and Rt. 28 at the Reading Line) on Saturday, January 27th, 2024 from 9:30am to 11:00am. A short service will be held at 11:00am at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Janet’s name to the Jimmy Fund, which was a great help during the hospitalization of Janet’s grandson. 

Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box  849168, Boston, MA 02284 or online

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