Obituary: JEAN ALLEN


25 April 1929 – 28 September 2014

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing away of Jean Allen, beloved member of the GUIDEPOST since its inception in 1958.

Jean was born and raised in Cambridge, England. After schooling she became the manager of a high-end fashion boutique in Cambridge. In 1956 she came to Madrid. She fell in love with the city and made it her home.

Although she had no previous journalistic experience, her great warmth, charm, and positive personality made her ideal choice as society editor of GUIDEPOST. Besides, she had such a style of writing that made her column the most popular with the readers right from the very beginning, that endearing personality of hers shining through the lines. The column became the soul of the magazine.

Jean was much accepted by all the international clubs and organizations in Madrid and was director of the American Club for many years.

In 2011 she became ill and stayed with her kind and caring sister-in-law Joy Allen till her passing.

She is survived by Joy and two nephews, David William Allen and Robert Derek Allen and their lovely families.

To say that we will miss her greatly at GUIDEPOST and in our lives will be an understatement.

Dan Lowell


One early evening toward the end of 2011 Jean phoned me from the office and said her article was ready. I said I’d  go pick it up in a while.

It was to be her very last article after more than 50 years of covering the social scene in Spain like nobody. Biased as it may be, I would go so far as to assert that she was the best society columnist in English in the last half century in this country.  And Guidepost was so very lucky to have had her.

Jean's last article in her column "The Scene"

Jean’s last article in her column “The Scene”

When the obsolescent typewriter had to give way to the computer, it was a big leap for Jean. She would pace up and down the room we shared in the old office of Guidepost, muttering to herself not without an undertone of her legendary British humor that she hated computers.
But it was a measure of her admirable professionalism that step by wobbly step she began to approach the strange world of “Word doc.”

Sadly, while she was vacationing in her native England, illness got in the way and while she had all the care and support of her wonderful sister-in-law, Joy Allen, she succumbed and last September she left us forever. She would never write her column on the electronic keyboard.

Jean would phone us regularly from Eastbourne. And on her last call to me she said she didn’t think she could ever make it back to Madrid. I said that was nonsense; she must get well no matter how long it took. We’d wait and wait.

You never want to lose someone like Jean Allen, a very talented writer and, more importantly, a lovely irreplaceable friend.

She left a void in Guidepost that no one could ever fill.

Rose Maramba




 JEAN ALLEN passed away in Brighton, England on September 28, 2014. The unfortunate cause was Liver Cancer.

 JEAN ALLEN is going to be long remembered for her wit, spirit of adventure, and the tenaciousness that permitted her to achieve top rankings in many of her diverse publishing activities.

 Thank you Jean for all  your collaboration with the Guidepost Magazine. Your colleagues and friends will never forget you.

Margaux Cintrano


Shocked and sad to hear about Jean. She was such a kind and lovely lady. My sympathy for all of you at Guidepost.

Phily McIvor
Colleague and friend


So very sorry to hear of Jean’s passing.  She was a true foundation of our magazine as well as such a very lovely, talented and endearing friend.  We shall all miss her dearly.  A good part of the success of Guidepost was because of her column and great public relations.  She brought out the best in all of us with her cheerful spirit and friendship.  She shall be missed and more importantly fondly remembered.

Mary Canovas


Jean Allen was an essential part of “Guidepost” magazine for over 50 years. I had the pleasure of knowing her and working with her during all that time and considering her a dear friend.

She was not only the Society Editor  of “Guidepost”, but she also took photographs, helped out everyone on the magazine and her good humor was legendary. 

What can one say when you have lost someone who has been such a sweet, kind and loving human being?

I am sure that her huge circle of friends will remember her in their prayers and will recall many wonderful memories of our dear Jean Allen. 

May she be as happy in Heaven as she deserves to be!

Bob Guggenheimer
Friend and colleague


Jean was the best in the world! I knew her since she first came to Madrid as a young girl in her very early twenties. Then they started the GUIDEPOST and she was there from get go. We’d been very good friends since then, till her death.

Ventura Rocha
US Navy League


Jean was one of the kindest persons I’ve ever met during my years in Spain. Before I left for home I made sure to call her up in the UK and talk to her. We last saw each other at the airport when I saw her off; she was going to England for her Christmas vacation. And now looking back it never came to my mind that it would be the last time that we would see each other.

Thank you Jean for being a friend. I will never forget you.

Chas Navarro


I remember Jean Allen as a very dedicated social columnist who loved her work and always dressed the part. She could hobnob with the hottest film stars and the cream of Spanish – and International – society. She was very British and genteel and well received at any event she attended. Above all, Jean liked people. Tireless, and with her genuine interest in those lunching with her over a glass of fine wine, Jean made everyone feel important and welcome. Jean was, in many ways, the backbone of Guidepost because she covered the social scene in Madrid from top to bottom and rarely missed an important event!

Requiescat in Pacem, lovely lady Jean!

Judith Ana Johnson


I have had a bad time wrapping my head around the fact that Jean is gone.

I have re-read all the letters. All she said was that she had bouts of nausea. The meds the Doctors gave her did not help.

Sunday while I was at Church I found this in my pew. I felt it was a sign from Jean.



Jean's obit Madrid pic

Unforgetable social editor and friend

To the living, I am gone
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated.
But to the happy, I am at peace.
And to the faithful, I have never left
I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore
Gazing at a beautiful sea, REMEMBER ME.

 As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity, REMEMBER ME.
REMEMBER ME in your hearts, your
Thoughts and your memories of the times
we cried, the times we fought, the times
we laughed. For if you always think of
me, I will never have gone.

Rose Carmelitano


Throughout her life, unfurled mainly in Spain, Jean remained simultaneously an extremely well regarded, popular socialite and a conversant recorder, for well over half a century, of events in the English-speaking community in the Iberian scenario. Her distinguished bearing, refined manners, pleasant conversation and thoughtful rapport with everyone consistently earned for her kudos in the furtherance of her extended stint as Social Editor for the GUIDEPOST magazine, both in its printed and in its on-line editions. 

She will be sorely missed, but the memory of her knowledgeable authorial journalistic work and her charming personality will forever live on. 

Roberto Soto
American Club of Madrid


Jean Allen was Guidepost’s backbone for so many years. Her column was eagerly anticipated by all her fans and friends who hoped their names would appear in Madrid’s society page par excellence. As a person she was always elegant, endearing and ethical and was always on time with her delightful copy. As a Guidepost Editor, she always treated me with respect and kindness and even included me in one of her pieces when I borrowed a lime-green dress for an American Club event. She was an English Lady to her core and smart as a whip. Guidepost and I will forever miss this very special person we were privileged to know and love

Mary Foran


Death is unavoidable. With that said we note that the year 2014 marked the passing of several internationally renowned and popular celebrities.

Included are many of my favourite personalities, stars since my childhood, who individually contributed some exceptional form of artistry to the world: Robin Williams, Elizabeth Peña, Richard Attenborough, Joan Rivers, Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Eli Wallach, Maya Angelou, Mickey Rooney, Sid Caesar, Shirley Temple, Pete Seeger, Phil Everly, of the Everly Brothers, (the love of my life at age twelve) . . .

Of no lesser importance, is the inclusion of Jean Allen´s name to this star-studded list, a dear friend who bestowed upon us her own unique brand of talent in the eighty plus years she spent on earth.

We met after my arrival in Madrid ten years ago. And within a short time we became a white-wine drinking duo spending countless hours creating articles at the Guidepost magazine, attending special events, clothes shopping, and having weekly luncheons. She had a penchant for strolling down memory lane – and boy, did we ever swap stories!

Her fondest recollections were squarely focused on her first fifty years in Madrid, an era of glamour and inexhaustible fun. As Celebrity Editor of the Guidepost, she interviewed and hobnobbed with the likes of the Queen, Glen Ford, Ava Gardner, Clint Eastwood, Bing and Katherine Crosby, ambassadors, famous authors, and countless other luminaries of the past decades. She attended every major gala, art exhibition, restaurant or theater grand opening.  And she did it with style and grace.

Many pleasant memories spring to mind when I fondly think of Jean: her warmth, sense of humour, and inimitable English charm.

Dahlin’, you will be sorely missed.

Nina Valdes
American Women’s Club


Jean Allen was such a wonderful “institution” in Guidepost and in the English-speaking Madrid.  She was warmth and vivacity personified and she will always be greatly missed!

Muriel Feiner


With deep sorrow we say “Hasta siempre” to our charming soft spoken hardworking dedicated colleague Jean!  Miss you so!  May you rest in peace!

Clariza Martinez


Jean and I were best friends for 40 years. Her passing away has caused a great change in my life; I miss her tremendously. Those dinner, tapas-night, coffee-morning monthlies – they’re not happening anymore. Not how we used to have them, anyway, because she’s no longer there.

While she was ill in England, we would call each other twice a week and were so happy on the phone. It was like we were neighbors instead of being separated by the Atlantic. She never did tell me, or anyone else, that she had cancer. She didn’t want her friends worrying too much about her. All she said was that she was nauseous.

Joy Allen, Jean’s wonderful sister-in-law, cared for her unselfishly and so kindly. We owe her a debt of gratitude.

Valerie Sabater


No words can ever describe how we feel your loss, Jean. But remember, you are always in our hearts.

Violetta Bedea
Pepe Betolaza




Jean's obit England