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Doris Lesta (Brown) Scanlon
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Doris Scanlon

Doris Lesta (Brown) Scanlon, 83, died Thursday, Jan. 23.

She was born in Modesto to Lester Henry Brown and Beatrice Ames Brown of Salida. She spent a great deal of time in Oakdale, visiting her maternal grandparents on their ranch, southeast of town. The Ames family plot is in the Oakdale Citizens Cemetery. Her young life was one of happy times, a great love of learning in school as well as the wider world and much responsibility during the Depression and World War II. From an early age she was a devoted member of the Congregational Church; her faith imbued her being and set her life’s direction.

She graduated from Modesto High in 1948 and received a technician certification from dental school in San Francisco. She returned to Modesto and worked for Dr. L.D. Mottram. She married childhood friend Loren Scanlon after he returned from Army service in 1949. They had two daughters, Lucinda and Melinda. She and her husband raised their girls to avail themselves to all the hope and possibilities of life and always to strive for the greater good by giving of themselves.

Mrs. Scanlon was a very attentive mother, as well as tireless volunteer for the League of Women Voters, Muir Trail Girl Scout Council, and Ladies Aid to Retarded Children. Her dedicated and selfless career in community, social action and public service spanned more than six decades with involvement in many causes and organizations that spoke to her heart, faith and cultural interests.

She worked steadily since the early 1970s, first, for Friends Outside Stanislaus, then as a prisoner liaison at the Sierra Conservation Center, and finally as the Inmate Program Director at the San Joaquin County Jail, retiring in 1999.

Even in retirement she remained active as a multi-faceted volunteer for many organizations. She always found time to travel, read, cook, jam on the ukulele, tap dance with the Oakdale Rockettes, and swim every day. For over 25 years, she made sure there was a “Born on the Fourth of July” float in the Modesto Independence Day parade. Her commitment and passion for local art and artists led to in-depth involvement with the Central California Art Association / Mistlin Gallery where she served as president from 2009 to 2012.

She believed that life offers endless hope and possibility, that all people and creatures have special worth; that no one should be marginalized and that peace and justice will prevail. Her unwavering faith guided her always. She was a charter member of the College Avenue Congregational Church.

She is survived by her loving daughters and sons-in-law, Lucinda Scanlon (Robert Vore) of Beulah, Wyo., Melinda Scanlon (Kurt) Kopp of Modesto, who will continue to care for her kitty, Gigi.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband and lifelong friend, Loren.

Services will be held Saturday, May 10.

Remembrances may be made in her name to the College Avenue Congregational Church, the LWV of Modesto, or Heart of Central California Girl Scout Council.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

Feb. 5, 2014