Connie Allen, who shared passion for Pinellas history, dead at 68

Connie Allen is shown with her twin sons, Gus and Sam, and her husband, David. Connie, who was president of the Pinellas County Historical Society and a former Indian Rocks Beach commissioner, died June 17 at the age of 68.

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Former City Commissioner Connie Allen died June 17, 2020, after a short illness. Allen, who was 68, was active around the city and was especially involved in the Pinellas County Historical Society and Heritage Village.

One of her neighbors, former Commissioner Terry Wollin, remembers Allen as a friendly woman who was one of her first friends in the city.

“I met her when I first moved here more than 25 years ago,” she said. “She was one of the first people I met and we would often, almost daily, go for early morning walks along the Gulf. We would talk about anything and everything, mostly life.”

Wollin said Allen was passionate about many things, including cats, which she rescued from the animal shelter, and her twin sons.

“She always talked about them,” she said.

“She did a lot for Indian Rocks Beach,” said Wollin, who added Allen served on the city’s beautification committee. “She did a lot for the community.”

Among Allen’s passions was her love for Heritage Village in Largo. In October, she was elected president of the Pinellas County Historical Society, the fundraising arm of Heritage Village, an indoor and outdoor museum focusing on Pinellas County history.

Everything she did was as a volunteer.

“She loved acting as docent and taking people on tours,” said her friend and fellow volunteer Rosemary Kafer. “She would volunteer to take groups on tours no matter who they were, adults, children or special groups. I believe she really loved doing that.”

Kafer said Allen was also protective about the Village’s collections.

“We are the custodians of the collections,” Kafer said. “Connie enjoyed the collections no matter which one, household items, clothing no matter what the collection entailed. She was very enthusiastic and she took it seriously.”

In addition to being colleagues, Kafer said Allen became good friends with everyone she worked with.

“A lot of us have been here for a long time,” she said. “We became friends; it wasn’t just volunteers working with volunteers, it was friends working with friends. We ended up doing things together. You have to be able to work well together.”

Kafer, who is also the volunteer manager of the Heritage Village Gift Shop, said Allen was special in that way, too.

“She was always a good shopper in the gift shop,” she said with a smile.

From 1989 to 1993, Allen served as a commissioner in Indian Rocks Beach. Her husband, David, said back then she saw a need and got involved.

“Things were not great at City Hall then,” he said. “So she got involved. Then the city got a good manager and good staff so there was nothing to fight. It was then she moved on and that is when she got involved in Heritage Village. She loved historical things.”

David Allen said his wife was the living embodiment of things historical in Pinellas County.

“She went to Madeira Beach Middle School, then to Seminole High School,” he said. “She was there for all of it. She was an eyeball witness to much of the history.”

In addition to her husband David, Connie leaves behind her 35-year-old twin sons, Gus and Sam, who live in Tampa.

David said there will not be a funeral but anyone who wishes can leave a donation in her name at the Pinellas County Historical Society.

Kafer said she could not believe her friend had died.

“She was a great person, a good person, a good person,” she said.