Irene Shirley Allen was born on November 12, 1933 in Baltimore, Maryland to the late Clifton and Earle Northan. She departed this life on Monday, August 19, 2019 at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
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Irene received her education in Baltimore, Maryland and was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. In her later years, she attended the Eastern Shore Community College, where she received her CNA license to care for the elderly.
In the 1960s, she was a waitress at the Whispering Pines Motel in Tasley. She was employed at Perdue Farms in Accomac for ten years.
Irene was a member of Macedonia A. M. E. Church in Accomac until her health began to fail. She enjoyed listening to gospel music, especially her favorite group, The Hallelujah Gospel Singers. Irene didn’t miss many of their performances and always requested Andrew Dorn to sing.
“Nana,” as she was known by her grandchildren, loved to cook and bake. Her house was the hangout for the grandchildren and their friends.
In addition to her parents, Irene was preceded in death by her husband, James Allen; sister, Toledo; and nephew, Larry Northan.
She leaves to cherish her memories: daughter, Pastor Wanda (Rev. Hugh) Nichols of Mardela Springs, MD; son, Henry (Sharone) Johnson of Accomac, VA; five grandchildren, Takasha (Lonnie) Howell of Newport News, VA, Govan (Teresa) Snead, Jr. of Parksley, VA, Dalton Entzminger Snead of Onancock, VA, Kishima Johnson of Accomac, VA, and Nicole Clements of Salisbury, MD; thirteen great-grandchildren; five great, great-grandchildren; two sisters, Rose Tyler and Arlene Purnell, both of Accomac, VA; two sisters-in-law, Betty Reid of Onley, VA and Judy Allen of Middletown, DE; four special nephews, Glenn Northan, Wayne Tyler, Christopher Veney, and Lyle Purnell; two goddaughters, Whitney Purnell and Sheila Turner; and a host of other relatives and friends.