14 Jan Rest in Peace
Debra Jean Allen of Pflugerville passed away peacefully to be with her Savior on January 9, 2016.Her final days were spent surrounded by her family in Michigan. Debra was born on November 29, 1957 to parents Gerald and Nora (Essenburg) Allen in Lapeer, Michigan. She was baptized at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Richmond, MI, and confirmed in her faith n May 23, 1971 at Mt. Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Detroit, MI. Her confirmation verse from Revelation 2:10 was, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
Debra was a graduate of Lutheran East High School, Detroit, MI and went on to complete her Bachelor’s degree at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN in 1979. She later earned her Master’s Degree in history at Michigan State University in 1982 and PhD in history at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1992. Achieving the rank of full professor, Dr. Allen dedicated many years teaching university students all over the world. She arrived at Concordia University Texas in 1993, and taught there through December. Her areas of interest were U.S. Diplomatic History, the Civil War, and U.S.-Polish relations.
In her years at Concordia she served in many leadership roles including Interim Vice-President of Academic Services, Assistant to the Academic Vice-President, Chair of the Council of Professors, and Director of the History Major.Debra was awarded two Fulbright grants, the first to study in Aachen, Germany and the second to teach in Poland at the University of Warsaw American Studies Center.In 2011, she won the Martin J. Neeb Teaching Excellence Award at Concordia. Her latest publication was Historical Dictionary of U.S. Diplomacy from the Revolution to Secession.
Debra exemplified commitment to God, family, friends, and her community. She was passionate in her devotion to teaching students at Concordia University Texas as a commissioned teacher in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In addition, she was an active member at Hope Lutheran Church in Austin serving as member and Secretary of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League – LWML, and as a member of the Hope Outreach Board. In her spare time, she had a deep love of traveling, reading history, and playing dominoes and pinochle with friends and family.
Debra is preceded in death by her sister, Patricia, and her father and mother,Gerald and Nora Allen. Those who remain to grieve her passing include her uncles and aunts, and numerous cousins. In lieu of flowers,memorial gifts may be made to Concordia University Texas in memory of Dr. Debra J. Allen, where they will be used to benefit Concordia’s history students and program.