CAPE GIRARDEAU - Mary E. "Mimi" Allen Smitten, 79, formerly of Sikeston, died at 1:35 a.m. March 1, 2005, at Chateau Girardeau Nursing Center.
Born July 30, 1925, in St. Joseph, to the late Thomas B. and Juanita Woods Allen Jr., she was a member of the St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Sikeston and the Daughters of American Revolution and was the Business and Professional Women's Club "Woman of the Year."
A graduate of Stephens College in Columbia and Julliard School of Music in New York with a degree in harp, she was a renowned harpist, arranger and composer, performing in concerts all over the world with the St. Louis, New York and other world-famous orchestras. She performed on television specials and with the American Harp Society.
In addition to her career as one of the world's leading classical harpists of her generation, she also arranged, performed and was the first innovator in the realm of jazz harp. She is listed in "Who's Who of Music," "International Who's Who in Music" and "The World Who's Who of Women." Besides making three albums of her music and an album of fantasy for children, she taught master classes in harp technique at Stephens College beginning in 1968.
On May 6, 1948, in Sikeston, she married Kenneth H. Smitten Jr., who preceded her in death on July 11, 1990. Also one son, Thomas Allen Smitten, preceded her in death in 1995 and her stepmother, Margaret W. Allen, in 1996.
Survivors include: one daughter, Linda Keefer Phelan of St. Louis; two grandchildren, Patrick Keefer and Virginia Stephenson of St. Louis; and three great-grandchildren, Alex Featherston, Hunter Keefer and Julianna Stephenson of St. Louis.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the Nunnelee Funeral Chapel.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the St. Paul's Episcopal Church with Swayne Byrd, lay minister of St. Paul's, officiating.
Burial will take place at a later time at the Sikeston City Cemetery.
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Memorials may be made to:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105-1942