Arrawanna Allen, 85, of La Quinta, CA, passed away peacefully and gracefully on October 15, 2022, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by her loving family.
Arrawanna was born in Rochester, NY, to Charles A. & Eunice (nee Simpson) Lawson, on August 16, 1937. Arrawanna was raised, along with her two siblings by her beloved paternal aunt (adoptive mother) Sarah Gohagen (nee Lawson) in Chicago, IL, Pittsburgh, PA, and Louisville, KY. Arrawanna relocated to Atlantic City, NJ, with her children in 1974, and retired to sunny La Quinta, CA in 2016. While residing in Louisville, Arrawanna worked for the Louisville Defender newspaper and was an active member in civil rights and desegregation in that city. She worked with Rev. Ralph Abernathy in organizing the 1967 Louisville Civil Rights March, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Arrawanna graduated from Rutgers University, and was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters, The National Urban League, American Business Women’s Association, and a host of others.
After settling in Atlantic City, Arrawanna worked for the city in City Hall for over 30 years, in both affirmative action and contract compliance. A respected, active figure in state and local politics, she served the local community with organizing, advising, and assisting many civic organizations and was the recipient of many distinguished honors and awards throughout her life. Arrawanna was known for her brilliant mind, charisma, activism, humility and sense of humor. She had a love for people, traveling the world and word games. Many called her “mom” and she never met a stranger.
Arrawanna is predeceased by her parents, and brother, Charles jr. She is survived by her loving family, daughter Eunice (Kurt), daughter Sarah, and son, Robert (Tracy), grandchildren Lauren, Donald, Kurt II, Julian, Shannon, Jordyn and Jaden and five great-grandchildren. The family humbly requests for friends of Arrawanna Allen’s to make donations in her name to The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association and The COPD Foundation.