August 18, 2017 –

SOUTHBURY – Anna Lee Carey Van Allen, 97, died peacefully at Pomperaug Woods, Aug. 14, 2017, near Naugatuck, her home for 65 years.

Born Aug. 9, 1920 in Rose Valley, Pa., to Jessie and Harry Lee Carey, she attended Friends Central School and graduated from William Woods College ’40 and Penn State University ’42, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, a journalism major and among a minority of women attending college in that era.

She dedicated her life to raising five children and volunteering for her community in extraordinary ways. With her husband, Robert William Van Allen, she founded the United Way of Naugatuck in 1962. She was honored by that organization in 2007 with a community service award named “The Van Allen Medal” in honor of her and her late husband, who both served as board members and president for years.

That award is still given each year to an outstanding volunteer.

A deeply spiritual person, she held many roles at the Naugatuck Congregational Church for more than 60 years, including: the first woman moderator, president of the Litchfield District and State Women’s Fellowship, chair and member of the diaconate, Sunday School teacher and chair of the 200th anniversary celebration.

She especially loved organizing events such as jumble sales, fairs and potluck dinners with her best friend Sarah Buell.