|Allena Justyn Longfellow, daughter of the late Reverend Allen R. Reeves and Mrs. Fredna Akin, was born on April 8, 1929 in Pensacola, Florida. The daughter of a Navy family, Mrs. Longfellow lived in several cities across the United States during her early years. She married Reverend H. W. Longfellow and with him served the Methodist Church for some thirty-one years, the last fourteen being at Wynn Memorial United Methodist Church in Shreveport. ‘‘Len’’ was always active in church work; teaching, playing the piano and organ, directing the choir and whatever else was needed. Together they reared three children, Phillip, Rebecca Stoval, and Jonathan. ‘‘Len’’ also leaves three grandchildren, one brother, Reverend Allen R. Reeves, Jr., and two sisters, Margurite R. Carter, and Judith A. Hoyt.
Mrs. Longfellow attended Northwestern Louisiana University and graduated summa cue laude from Louisiana Tech in 1968 with a B.A. degree in English. She received the M.A. in English from Louisiana Tech in 1969. She also attended New College of the University of Edinburg in 1976 and 1978, the University of Colorado in 1977, and was a doctoral candidate at the University of Arkansas, where she had completed all requirements for the Ph.D. in English and was in the process of writing her dissertation. Mrs. Longfellow joined the faculty of LSU-S in 1969 as an instructor of English. In 1975, she initiated and developed English 221, The Literature of the English Bible, one of the most popular courses in the English Department. She had also completed her Doctorate with the exception of sending in a final draft of her dissertation.
Dr. Wilfred Guerin, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University, Shreveport, said Mrs. Longfellow was one of the most successful classroom teachers in the Eng1ish Department, noting that ‘‘her humanistic concerns and her awareness of value systems became a part of her attention to teaching composition and effective communication as much as a part of her teaching of literature.”
Memorial services for Mrs. Allena Longfellow, Assistant Professor of English at Louisiana State University, Shreveport were held on Sunday, April 14, 1985 at Wynn Memorial United Methodist Church in Shreveport. Mrs. Longfellow died on Monday, April 8 at Doctor’s Hospital, in Shreveport, after a sudden illness.
As a friend and family member for the past thirty-six years, I, along with a host of others, will miss ‘‘Len’’ in more ways than can he counted.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1985; p. 252-253 By Paul W. Carter|