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The Rev. Dr Alice Scannell

July 15, 1938 - December 9, 2019


Gerontologist, researcher, educator, musician, author, and Episcopal priest, the Rev. Dr. Alice Scannell was born on July 15, 1938, in New York, NY, the fourth and youngest child of Godfrey and Alice Updike.  She graduated with a music degree from Smith College (1960), received a Master’s degree in Religious Education (1963) from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and a Doctoral degree in Gerontology (1989) from The School of Urban Studies and Public Affairs, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

Her varied career included Christian Education, Caseworker in Social Services, Musician, and Choir Director before being ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ladehoff, Bishop of Oregon, in 1998.  In 2004 she was appointed Vicar of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, Washougal, Washington, retiring in 2012.

Alice was a Board Certified Chaplain and cherished her years serving as Chaplain for St Aidan’s Place (now Pacific Gardens) providing spiritual support for patients, families, and staff.

For the last 35 years, Gerontology has been Alice’s passion. She focused her study, research, and papers on issues related to aging, long-term care, and care-giving.  “I began to see late life issues as something we had to look at in new ways.” Her work culminated in the publication of her book in 2017, Radical Resilience:  When There’s No Going Back to the Way Things Were.

In retirement, she and her husband served on the Diocese of Oregon’s team of chaplains supporting retired clergy and their families.  While residing at Holladay Park Plaza her last 18 months, Alice was a member of the Health and Wellness Committee. She promoted new approaches in identifying and addressing the needs of residents with dementia.  A new team continues with her vision and has christened it “The Alice Project” in her honor.

Alice was always seeking new challenges and projects she could lean into that would improve the lives of others.  She was generous and thoughtful, able to assess people’s needs and effectively meet them.  She clearly expressed her opinions but did not expect others to necessarily agree with her.  She was a life-long learner and student of life.

Alice died on December 9, 2019, surrounded by family. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, the Rev. John Scannell, two sons, Stephen and wife, Heather,  and Andrew and wife, Jessica, and grandchildren Simon, Nathaniel, and Willow.  Also surviving is brother, Dr. Edwin Updike and wife Lillian, of Brevard, North Carolina, sister-in-law, Ellen Updike, of Stuttgart, Germany, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Services will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, December 21st at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 1704 N. E. 43rd Ave, Portland, Oregon. CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

Alice requested that any memorial contributions be sent to St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church for the Music Program and the Immigrant Welcoming Committee.

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