NORMAL — Virginia Lee “Ginny” Allan, 58, of Madrid, Spain, died Dec. 29, 2018, in Madrid, Spain, after living with ovarian cancer for four years.
Born Sept. 11, 1960, in Peoria, she was the daughter of Robert B. and Sarah Jane Allan of Normal, who preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Federico Goded Rambaud, Madrid, Spain; four sisters, Cathy (Randy) Schwichtenberg, Minnetonka, Minn.; Susan Allan (Perry Cartwright), Porter, Ind.; Nancy Koets, Dayton, Ohio; and Patricia (Dave) Irion, Naperville; as well as a cousin, Mary Beth O'Shea (Joe Walker), Bloomington, Ind.; and many beloved nieces and nephews in the U.S. and Spain.
A 1977 graduate of Normal Community High School, Ginny attended the University of Illinois, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and earned both a BA and an MA in English literature. After college, she traveled to Spain to teach English for a year, but fell in love with the country and remained until 1996, when she returned to the U.S. to attend the John E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. In 1999, after graduating first in her class, she relocated to New York state to serve for a year as a clerk to the Hon. Roger J. Miner of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit.
Following her marriage in 2000, she returned to Europe and worked in Paris for Shearman & Sterling, then in Madrid at Uría Menéndez. In 2014 she joined Allen & Overy Madrid to play a leading role in initiating its international arbitration group. A member of the New York Bar, she participated in proceedings for cases seated in cities throughout Europe and in Latin and North America.
Always interested in mentoring younger lawyers, she taught international law at Universidad Juan Carlos III de Madrid (2012-14) and volunteered as a moot court coach. In 2017 she was named one of "Iberian Lawyer's" Top 50 Women Lawyers.
Ginny was a voracious reader and a relentless traveler. Her love of architecture, painting, people and nature inspired her beautiful photographs, of which she took many. She loved the mountains of France and Spain and spent many hours hiking in them with her husband and their beloved border collies. Her generosity was unfailing. She was blessed with a genius for friendship and will be remembered with joy, but her absence will be felt keenly by many.
A memorial will be held in her honor from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the lounge at the First United Methodist Church, 211 N. School St., Normal. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ginny's honor to the University of Arizona Law College Association, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd., P.O. Box 210176, Tucson, AZ 85721, or www.law.arizona.edu/give.