Sophie Elizabeth Allen was born March 31, 1994 in Tokyo, Japan to Diana Semel Allen and Nicholas St. John Allen. When she was four months old her family moved to the United States and her first home there was at Duke Central Campus married student housing in Durham, North Carolina. Sophie grew up in Cary, NC, graduating from Enloe High School in Raleigh in 2012 before attending her dream school, Duke University, where she lived on Central Campus again for two years, this time as a proud member of Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. Sophie received a B.A. in Public Policy from the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy in 2016.
Just before graduation, Sophie met Andrew Pollizzi, the love of her life and fellow Blue Devil. Following graduation, she moved to Washington D.C. and worked as a Senior Associate at Hamilton Place Strategies, a public policy consulting firm, then served as Director of Flag Media Analytics. In May 2020 she and her beloved rescue dog Ollie Bear moved to Orlando, FL to be with Andrew during his studies at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Sophie secured a position at Robinhood, a financial technology start-up, as a Product Operations Manager. She had been recently placed on a new team there with her eyes on her next adventure - moving to New York City. Sophie and Andrew were set to be married on September 23, 2023 in Raleigh, NC.
Sophie has always been an incredible person: joyful, dynamic, smart, accomplished, outrageously ambitious, and caring just begin to describe her. She was fiercely passionate about everything: friends, family, puppy dogs, soccer, Duke, travel, food, reading, spin cycling, surfing... the list goes on and on. Sophie never met a stranger, and she fully lived every single second of her amazing life with unbelievable energy and joy. She was a natural leader and always left everything on the field. Sophie always confronted every challenge. After being exceptionally healthy her entire life, she was shockingly diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer October 1, 2020. She successfully fought that cancer with everything she had, through six cycles of aggressive chemotherapy, double mastectomy and reconstruction, lymph node removal and five weeks of daily radiation therapy all while continuing the work she loved with Robinhood, and walking Ollie three times every day. On June 24, 2021, after running with Ollie, Sophie completed her last aggressive treatment and had 51 days of pure joy, cancer- and aggressive-treatment free, before the tragedy.
Sophie is survived by legions of friends and her loving and beloved family: fiancé Andrew Pollizzi and dog Ollie; mother Diana Allen and her partner Mark Brady of Cary, NC; father Nicholas Allen, his wife Heather Edelblute and sister Beatrix Allen of West Chester, PA; brother Bennett Allen and his partner Sarah Witmer of Washington D.C.; maternal grandfather Jay Semel and his fiancée Joan Kjaer of Iowa City, IA; paternal grandfather John Anthony Allen of Chelmsford, England; uncle David Semel, aunt Ame Szasz and cousins Isaiah Ramirez and Charlie Semel of San Francisco, CA; aunt Elizabeth Allen, uncle Jon Anscombe and cousin Jacob Anscombe of Chelmsford, England; uncle Mark Allen and aunt June Allen also of Chelmsford, England; and the Pollizzi, Brady, and Edelblute families.
She was preceded in death by her loving and beloved grandmothers Theresa Blazic Semel and Judith Goby Allen.
Services and a celebration of Sophie’s amazing life will be held Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 2 pm at Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh,where Sophie and Andrew had planned to be married, with celebration of life reception to follow (details to be provided once the reception is planned).
Donations in Sophie’s memory are welcome at the charity of your choice or DC Paws animal rescue, which brought Sophie her beloved Ollie (Donate – DC PAWS Rescue); Susan G. Komen (Donate to Susan G Komen to help fight breast cancer); Duke Cancer Institute’s Teen and Young Adult Oncology Program (TYAO) (Make a Gift to TYAO); or Camp Kesem (Donate to Kesem 2020).
Most importantly in Sophie’s memory: Live life to the fullest and cherish every moment you have; the world is now so much dimmer without our beautiful girl and her radiant light.
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