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Lewis D. Cannell ’29

Lewis Cannell ’29, April 10, 2001, in Vancouver, Washington. After graduating from Reed, he taught at the Oregon State School for the Blind in Salem for three years. Here he met his wife, Betty, and they were married in 1932. They both obtained jobs at the Overlook School for the Blind in Philadelphia, where they taught for several years before returning to Washington in 1935. While working on a master’s in English at the University of Washington, he took a faculty position at the newly-formed Clark Junior College, in Vancouver. The post came with the responsibility of dean, a position that he held for the next 35 years. During his tenure as dean, which was the only administrative position for the college in its early years, he was instrumental in transforming the school from a small, private junior college to a fully-accredited, public institution in 1941. During World War II, when the college was suspended for two years, he taught Air Corps cadets at Washington State University, Pullman. In 1950, he earned an EdD from Washington State University. He continued to serve as dean of instruction for Clark College until his retirement in 1970, and he also taught English, directed the debate team, directed plays, and wrote the college’s history for a variety of publications. He was influential in passing the Washington State Junior College Act, which allocated state aid to junior colleges, and he was involved in a number of civic activities in Vancouver, including Rotary, the Historical Society, and Friends of the library. He also served as a member of the Clark County Planning Commission for 24 years. In 1990, Clark College dedicated the Lewis D. Cannell Library in his honor. After the death of his wife in 1979, he married Marian Warne Wood ’31, who died in 1993. He married Ruth Ann MacKenzie in 1994. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, a son, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2001

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