Cookie Allen

“Cookie”, as she was lovingly known by her family and friends, was born without her sight but could see more clearly than most. She was a daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and beacon of hope for so many that knew her. To know Cookie, was to know a level of inspiration and hope many dream of encountering but rarely do. Her strength and faith are what fueled her benevolent and conscientious heart to persevere throughout the entirety of her life until she drew her last breath at home, on October 19, 2022, surrounded by her family as the leaves began to fall outside her window. Born in Blair, West Virginia, she was the eighth child of ten children. Due to her fathers work in the coal mines, she moved around a lot in her younger years. Her father, Andy Wiley, granted beloved Cookie with the birth name Ruth Eloise Wiley. She was later on rewarded the sweetest nickname to remember the times she’d ask her father for her favorite treat. It was a name you could never forget, and a person you will always remember, Cookie. An avid sports lover, especially for WVU, she was often listening to a broadcast, listening to her husband announce a game they were watching, or cheering on her children and grandchildren alike in their athletic endeavors. She was the best cheerleader and never missed a game. After graduating high school, she went to business school and later on got a job working at Big Creek high school. Cookie had wisdom beyond her years. All her life, she was a brilliant imaginative thinker. Her story telling abilities were one of her strong attributes. Best known for her takes on Rumpelstiltskin, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, and Hansel and Gretel, her children and grandchildren found her soothing tales ease them into sleep. At the age of 26 she married the love of her life, Roy Jack Allen (John). Married for almost 52 years, they shared infinite smiles, laughs, cries, memories, and a special song together. “We’ve only just begun” by The Carpenters was the song they played for their first dance at their wedding and became a well known saying for all those who got to witness their love. Their pairing made them inseparable. John was Cookie’s eyes while she was his everything. They took care of each other in more ways than one. In her later years, she loved walking and holding hands with her husband. Spring was one of her favorite seasons to spend with him because Cookie loved the way the world bloomed and came to life. Together, they had four children: Gabriella, Amber, Noel, and Johnathan, and 13 grandchildren. After living in Cucumber, WV most of her life, she moved to Knoxville, TN with her husband to be closer to her family. Still, she always loved the house that she raised her children in. She knew every inch of it and created many unforgettable memories with loved ones within its walls. Holidays at the Allen house were always extravagant. Halloween meant spooky haunted bathrooms with ghosts in the closet and googly eyes in the sink. Thanksgiving was a time Cookie cherished as she loved having her family together. This time also gave her the opportunity to show off her unmatched cooking skills. Her famous turkeys, pumpkin rolls, and of course cookies, would have anyone who had the privilege of tasting them begging for more. Christmas time was one of her absolute favorite holidays to celebrate because it was all about celebrating family and the birth of Christ. Her unique snowy Christmas village that she put up every year always caught the attention of wandering eyes and brought joyful smiles. Known for her famous cooking, she shared her talents with loved ones. The skill it must take for one to master a recipe without measuring anything was one that came naturally to her. She knew her recipes inside and out. If you’d ask her to help you create a dish she would happily guide you step by step through the process making sure to include small details that a regular cookbook couldn’t provide. She enjoyed making french toast with her grandchildren and cooking dinner for her family with her husband. An animal whisperer and generous in nature, she put her God given talents and love back into the world in any way she could. Cookie and her caring heart won over the trust of every animal she encountered. A special instance was with an abused dog, abandoned and scared, she would always leave food out for this sweet pup that she called Ginger. Through her consistent generosity, she soon became the only person he would allow to pet him. Her appreciation for the outdoors also led her to become a keen gardener. She grew vegetables of all sorts with the help of her husband and family that she would use in many of her staple recipes. Her most admirable trait was her strong faith. Cookie was a follower of Christ. Her faith grew undoubtedly after giving God all the praise and glory through everything she endured. There are not many people tough enough to accomplish the challenges and hardships that Cookie championed. Through her struggles with her health, she underwent a fourteen hour long liver transplant operation. From there, she managed to come out of the hospital with high hopes for her future. She later on developed cancer due to the anti rejection medicine to keep her liver. She rebounded from every curveball thrown her way with a great spirit and her head held high. Along the way, she also battled diabetes on a daily basis. Even through all of the struggles she faced, she never believed in giving up and gave all the glory to God for having a bigger plan for her than the one she had for herself. She was one tough cookie. She was celebrated for her love of God. She rarely missed a Sunday service. She’d even occasionally wear something that didn’t match to church because Papa John (as he was affectionately known by his grandchildren) didn’t recognize the irregularities of her outfit since he always thought she looked beautiful. The church she attended most of her life was Calvary Baptist in War, WV because of the connections she grew to have with the beloved community. They weren’t just friends, they were a family. She’d always pray for the people she loved, and even for the people she didn’t know. She had a gift for reaching out to people that needed it and talking to people that needed comfort. Her faith ran wide and deep. Cookie was born without her vision, however she never let that stop her from living the most fulfilling life. She was never quick to judge and had a memory like no other. She’d tell stories of how she couldn’t wait to join her mother, Beulah Wiley, in Heaven so that she may one day finally be granted the gift to see everyone and everything she’s ever loved. To sum up this miraculous woman into one word would be nearly impossible for her essence was boundless. But, she was by far an inspiration. She inspired people’s hearts to be more considerate, thoughtful, and courteous. Cookie was unlike any other. She will always be remembered for the love she shared and the strong heart she had. “I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind, but now I see”. A gathering of friends and family to celebrate the life of Cookie Allen will be November 5, 2022 at 11am at the Calvary Baptist Church in War, WV. Everyone is welcome! We kindly ask for no flowers, but if you would like to send an old fashioned card, memories, stories, expressions of faith, or to make a donation to be used to install a bench in her memory, please send to: John Allen at 410 Timberhead Lane, Louisville, TN 37777.

Posted in Obituaries.