Born in Carnagie, Oklahoma in 1922, Edna “Faye” Gardner became absorbed in reading and books at an early age. As a girl, she worked nights at a local library and set a goal to read at least one novel from every great author in the world. That love of reading remained a constant in her life. In fact, she was often known for asking, “What’s better than a good book?”
She married Kenneth S. Allen, a classmate at Anadarko High School, and the couple landed in Seattle and had two children – Paul and Jody. Throughout Seattle she was known as a beloved public school teacher whom students would remember for a lifetime. Long after they were grown, former students in Mrs. Allen's fourth grade class at Ravenna School would stop her on the street to thank her for instilling in them a love of reading.
Her love of literature led to a lifetime commitment to public libraries and public education, causes she championed through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Mrs. Allen's love of books continues to be passed on at the Seattle Central Library, home to the Faye G. Allen Children's Center, and through the Foundation’s Faye G. Allen Library Program, which supports the growth and success of local libraries.
Mrs. Allen died in 2012 at the age of 90 years old.