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Obituary: Mary “Señora” Christine Heil-Allen

December 8, 1947 ~ July 1, 2023

Mary Christine Heil-Allen, 75, of Sturgeon Bay, died peacefully in the comfort of her home, early Saturday morning, July 1, 2023.

She was born December 8, 1947 in Sturgeon Bay, the daughter of Frederick Frank Heil and Helen Rose (Olson) Heil. Mary grew up attending Corpus Christi Parish and Catholic School. Having skipped seventh grade, she graduated from Corpus Christi Grade School in 1961. That same year, Mary was the Door County Spelling Bee champion. She took pride in her academics throughout high school and graduated as salutatorian of the Sturgeon Bay High School class of 1965. Mary earned an academic scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and double majored in Latin and Spanish, graduating in 1969. Mary received her Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1976.

She taught Spanish at Nicolet High School in Glendale, a northern Milwaukee suburb, for 11 years. Mary then became a real estate broker on Milwaukee’s North Shore/East Side for Purtell Wigdale (later Federated Realty). During her first year in real estate, she met Hugh Courtenay Allen. They were united in marriage on May 30, 1981. They were blessed with birth of their son, Dane, in 1983. 

Mary and Hugh decided to move back to Sturgeon Bay in 1990, having finished the restoration of their 1916 home on Milwaukee’s east side. Dane joined kindergarten class at St. Joseph Parochial School that spring. Mary was hired as Spanish teacher a few months later in July at Sturgeon Bay High School, her alma mater. Dane eventually attended SBHS as well. Mary was so very proud of him and was always there cheering him on at his athletic events and supporting his academic efforts in the classroom.

To her beloved students, she was (and always will be) “Señora”. During her 19 years at SBHS, Señora shared her passion for the Spanish language and culture with her students and her Clipper Pride with the entire student body. Señora organized some of the most exciting and intense pep rallies at the high school and had an uncanny ability to get each grade of students to shout their “number” (graduation year) ‘CON GUSTO’ (with enthusiasm). She loved her students and alma mater. Señora encouraged her students to take pride in (all of) their academics, not just in Spanish class. She truly loved her students and would remain one their biggest “cheerleaders” in life. Señora retired in 2010.

Mary also taught Spanish and English Composition for Wisconsin Virtual School. After retiring, she taught Oral Communication and Composition at Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College in Sturgeon Bay.

Mary was the “glue” that held her family together. Her love will live on in the hearts of her loving husband, Hugh, with whom she was blessed with over 42 years of marriage; her “precious son” (and “loving daughter-in-law”), Dane Courtenay (Kimberly Jane) Allen of Sussex; the “apples of her big brown eyes”: granddaughter and grandson, Lily Jane and Declan Courtenay Allen; brothers James (Tara) Heil of Fairplay, CO, Fred (Julie) Heil of Lodi, and Robert (Gail) Heil of Green Bay; nieces, Aubree Heil of Fairplay, CO, Carrie Heil of Cottage Grove, Bethany Heil of Madison, and Tabitha Anschutz of Sturgeon Bay and nephews, Eric James Heil of Dillon, CO, Christopher Heil of Egg Harbor, Patrick Heil of Sturgeon Bay; great-nieces, Carmen Rose Voeck, Madelyn Rose Heil, and Haydn Rose Marquez and great-nephews, Wesley Voeck, Jaxon Dillon, Griffin Hunter Heil, and Brooks Richard Heil.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant sister, Phyllis Ann Heil and “beloved” brother, Eric “Corky” Heil; “loving” nephew, Timothy Alan Heil; and other relatives.

Mary will be laid to rest beside her family in St. Joseph Cemetery in the Town of Sevastopol with a private graveside committal. 

Memorials may be given in her name for St. John Bosco Catholic School (formerly Corpus Christi School), 730 W. Maple Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; www.johnboscoschool.org.

Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC in Sturgeon Bay are caring for the Allen (and Heil) families. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Mary may be shared with her family through her tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.

     “Vaya con Dios.” (Go with God.)