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Allen (Whitley) Melville

NORFOLK — Allen (Whitley) Melville, 84, died Jan. 1, 2011, at Duncaster Retirement Community in Bloomfield, Conn. The daughter of Alice (Lanning) and Ennis P. Whitley, Allen was born Jan. 29, 1927, in Evanston, Ill., and spent her childhood in Grand Rapids, Mich. She attended Sarah Lawrence College before marrying Frank Melville in 1947. A lifelong supporter of liberal causes and organizations, particularly the American Civil Liberties Union, she became especially active in advocating for people with mental illness after she and Frank moved from New Canaan to Norfolk in 1980. She served on the Protection and Advocacy Board, helped to establish Prime Time House in Torrington and made a concern for mental illness crucial to the work of the Melville Charitable Trust, on whose board she served for many years. Allen is survived by four sons, Stephen, Lanning, Gregory and Cameron; and three grandchildren, Geoffrey, Alan and Erin. She was predeceased by her husband; and her younger brother, Michael. A memorial service is planned in Hartford later this year. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Duncaster Retirement Community, 80 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002 or to Prime Time House, Inc., 836 Main St., Torrington, CT 06790. The Kenny Funeral Home in Norfolk has care of arrangements.

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