Obituary of Keri Rebecca Allen
Keri Rebecca Allen (maiden name Smith), 46, of Venice, Florida, passed away on July 30, 2023, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. In the moment that Keri was called to the Lord, she was held by her husband Jon, surrounded by her children JD, Mallory, and Zachary, cared for by her mother Donna and brother-in-law Peter (both nurses), and supported by her mother-in-law Valerie and brother-in-law Matt. Although Keri entered Heaven far too soon for her beloved family and many friends, her love lives on through all of them. As a daughter, sister, wife, mom, and friend, Keri showed us how to live a life filled with beauty, joy, and laughter.
“The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” by Prince
And if the stars ever fell one by one from the sky
I know mars could not be too far behind
‘Cause baby, this kind of beauty
Has got no reason to ever be shy
‘Cause honey, this kind of beauty
Is the kind that comes from inside
Keri was born August 27, 1976 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the daughter of Donna Deins-Smith (now Dambeck) and David W. Smith. Waiting at home was her excited big brother Kirk (Smith-Deins). Keri was loved beyond measure and was always smiling and laughing. Keri was a typical little sister who was often tagging along behind her brother, his friends and older cousins who were playing at their house.
Keri was a daddy’s girl and the “baby” of the family for a long time. She often was teased for getting her way just because she was cute or because she could be a little “whiny”. Her Aunt Joanne often said Keri was the only kid she knew who could stretch her name out forever by whining “Please, Aunt Jo-annnn-nnne???,” then smile to get whatever it was she wanted at the time.
Life is filled with everyday moments that pass in a flash but result in a lifetime of beautiful memories. As a little girl, Keri always loved her birthday and was happy to celebrate her special day for MANY days on end, reminding those around her that she was the “Birthday Girl”. Keri grew up close to many cousins, aunts, and uncles and spent a lot of time with them. She enjoyed going to the beach, swimming in her aunt’s pool and cruising in her cousin Amy’s car while blaring George Michael on the radio. She loved vacations to Maggie Valley, NC and many other outings with her family.
A proud graduate of Boca Ciega High School (1995) in St. Petersburg, and the University of South Florida (B.A. in Interdisciplinary Sciences in 2002), Keri would go on to earn her Real Estate License (2015) and join the team at Premier Sotheby's International Realty in Venice.
Wife and Mother
“I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” by George Michael and Aretha Franklin
When the river was deep, I didn’t falter
When the mountain was high, I still believed
When the valley was low, it didn’t stop me, no, no
I knew you were waiting
I knew you were waiting for me
So we were drawn together through destiny
I know this love we snared was meant to be
I knew you were waiting, knew you were waiting
I knew you were waiting, knew you were waiting for me
Life is also filled with little moments you don’t realize are so big until enough time passes. One of those moments happened to Keri while staying at her aunt’s house in 1990. That’s when she met her cousin’s (Bob Trout) best friend, a handsome guy named Jon Allen. Unbeknownst to both of them, that was the moment their lives would become forever changed and inextricably linked. Keri liked to tell friends and family that she knew from the get-go that Jon was the guy for her. As many know, when Keri makes up her mind, nothing can get in her way. From that moment came years of young love which were filled with dinner dates to C.D. Romas, camping excursions to Ginnie Springs and Tallahassee road trips. Eventually these moments would pave the way to their wedding on September 2, 2000.
Life also has those big moments with an impact and beauty that are undeniable from the start. Three of these moments came soon after Keri and Jon moved to Venice to start their family. First, their son Jonathan (“JD”) was born on May 8, 2003. Keri’s love of motherhood was immediately evident to everyone, and fueled her desire to expand their family even more. Less than a year later her dream was realized when the family nearly doubled with the arrival of the twins, Zachary and Mallory on May 1, 2004. This couple had now become a party of five.
Over the next 20 years Keri poured her heart and soul into her children. Whether it was soccer, volleyball, baseball, football, Model United Nations, or one of Jon’s “Forced Family Fun” adventures, Keri ensured her kids were given every opportunity to learn and experience new things. And she saw the results of these efforts as her children began their own lives out in the world. JD is now a junior at the University of Chicago studying International Policy, and he spent this past summer working in Hong Kong. Mallory is a junior at the University of Central Florida where she is studying education, and has already explored Italy, France, Spain, and Andorra. And Zachary recently graduated
from United State Coast Guard recruit training in Cape May, New Jersey, and he is now serving aboard the ice-cutter USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30) in Cheboygan, Michigan. Seeing JD, Mal and Zach set out in their lives to pursue their dreams was one of Keri’s proudest achievements. They are the crowning jewels of her life.
Awaiting Keri in Heaven is her father, David Smith; her brother, Kirk P. Smith-Deins; her half-brother Rodrick S. Jahn; her aunt Joanne Trout; her uncle Dennis Smith; along with her grandparents Wayne and Mary Smith, and Bernie and Bobbie Deins. That reunion will be filled with so much laughter and love. Let’s gather together here on Earth and join with them in celebrating the life of our beautiful daughter, wife, mother, and friend, Keri.
Celebration of Life
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Keri’s Celebration of Life will be held at Grace on the Island - United Methodist Church on Friday, September 22 at 1:00 p.m. The church is located at 400 Field Avenue E, Venice, FL 34285. Please dress casual and we know Keri would appreciate seeing everyone in something colorful (cobalt blue was her favorite). A reception will be held after with refreshments and give us time to reconnect with each other.
“Be still and know I am God.”
In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Keri’s name to these amazing organizations that have supported her family through this difficult time:
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