With sadness for all who knew her, Elise Scheffel moved to a better place on November 15, 2021. She was born on September 1, 1939, in Norfolk, to Albert William Kendall and Margaret Elise Unthank.
Elise attended Cottey College for a year on a PEO scholarship. She then received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Nebraska. After teaching in Colorado for a few years, she moved to San Francisco in 1965 and taught at Taylor Middle School in Millbrae. Teaching young minds was his gift and his passion. She could tell many exciting and interesting stories about her time in San Francisco in the 1960s, including her volunteer work in addiction counseling at Haight Ashbury and as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.
In Elise’s own words: “In 1965 I moved to San Francisco, the most wonderful city in the world. For many years I had an apartment on Russian Hill with a view of the whole city. For 16 years I have been captivated by the city, the aura, the people, the ideas, the parties, the theater, the music, the food, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge and in the wine country of Napa, everything!
Elise married Jim Scheffel in 1982 in a beautiful ceremony in Napa, California. Since then, they have been inseparable in body and mind.
Elise moved to Anchorage, Alaska, and had an active schedule as an adjunct English teacher at Anchorage Community College for four years. She returned to teaching full time as an English teacher in the Anchorage School District. During this time, she helped develop and was on the staff of Elitnaurvik-Within-East, a nationally recognized school-in-school program for Alaska Native and Native American students. . Elise, until she moved to Oregon Rogue Valley in 1994, actively participated with Jim in various outdoor activities in Alaska. They spent as much time as they could outdoors, staking out wild lands, spending weekends hiking or skiing in a cabin by a roadless lake with views of Mt. McKinley, taking three years to build a custom house on a lake in Anchorage with geese, arctic loons, muskrats and moose.
Throughout her life, Elise had an enduring spiritual love of nature and all of its beauty and believed in the Creator of all the beautiful things in life. To describe Elise: Love to everyone she met, sincerity, openness, compassion and a goal of enjoying the very essence of life. She lived to put others before her, as evidenced by her teaching, her love of marriage and her close contact with relatives and friends. If you were on Elise’s list, you were always remembered on holidays, birthdays and maybe just in between! You should never miss a card store. She sent hundreds of them and each one specially selected and personalized.
An enthusiastic traveler, Elise has had many wonderful adventures traveling the world with Jim and his friends including most of Europe, Russia, China, France, a cruise on the Panama Canal, the Baltic Sea, with particularly wonderful memories of Tuscany and Umbria in Italy. For other activities, she especially liked walking around the lake and along Obenchain Road, the symphony, fine literature and food. Elise has forged many close relationships with new friends in Rogue Valley and in her words: “I am especially looking forward to being an active member of the very special PEO Chapter CP and getting involved in my new community. Elise has indeed established lasting relationships with many ladies of the CP Chapter.
Elise deeply loved the beauty of nature and being surrounded by it in a new home on a lake near Eagle Point. She was especially proud of her diligent efforts to provide lifelong protection to the land with the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. In Elise’s words: “A moment ago I peeked out the window to see an eagle pounce on a group of wood ducks, mallards and coots. Across the lake, the whiteness of five swans echoes the snow-capped summit of Mount McLoughlin. We share our space with songbirds, elk, coyotes, bobcats, and, although we’ve never seen any, stray cougars. White pelicans, swans and other migratory water birds spend several weeks on our lake. Geese, ducks, turkey vultures, hawks, great blue herons and osprey nest nearby. Seasonal rains create overflows of water that roar, rush and swirl through the entrance to pastures. The grasses glow emerald green. Elise continued to live in her beloved home surrounded by nature until a week before her death.
Elise loved her cats and dogs. Bonds of constant camaraderie and dedication have developed over the years of mutual love. Visits to the vet were almost countless for 12 cats and three dogs! Elise loved, laughed and cried at every stage of their life. They were very special to her.
Throughout her life, Elise has given unwavering love, dedication and strength to her family and friends in times of joy and sadness. Her enthusiasm and zest for life was always evident and always encompassed her romantic relationship with others.
Elise is survived by her husband, Jim; sisters-in-law Beth Kendall and Judy Kendall; niece Ann Lauson (Aaron); the great-nephews Jones Lauson, Tyler Kendall and William (Bugsy) Kendall; and cousins Robert and Jim Fleming. She was predeceased by her brothers, Bill and George Kendall, and her nephew William Howard (Howie) Kendall.
There will be no service at this time. In the spring there will be a celebration of Elise’s life. Thank you to the staff at Providence Hospital. The palliative care team, including Shannon, Cynthia and Katie, are especially appreciated and thanked for their concern and compassion. Thank you, Dr Tran, for taking great care of Elise and spending so much personal time with her and Jim.
Contributions to Elise’s memory can be made to the Providence Community Health Foundation / Palliative Care Fund, 940 Royal Ave., Suite 410, Medford, OR 97504.