Arlene Schnitzer (1929-2020)

We at the U.S. District Court of Oregon are sad this week. After learning of the loss of Judge James A. Redden on March 31, it is with heavy hearts that we pass along news that our former USDCHS Board member, 2012 Lifetime Service Award recipient, and philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer passed away April 4, 2020.  She was first person outside the legal profession to receive the Society’s Lifetime Service Award.  We hope you will take the opportunity to find out more about a woman who was so important to our organization. (Article starts on p. 4).

2012 Lifetime Service Award recipient Arlene Schnitzer and Judge Owen Panner. Photo by Owen Schmidt


In particular, we take note of two excerpts from the article.

“When asked about her time working with Arlene Schnitzer on the board, 2005 LSA recipient Katherine O’Neil started with one word. ‘Fun. She is a lot of fun to be with. She adds zest to any experience. On a serious note, you can learn a lot from an accomplished woman like Arlene. She’s a shrewd businesswoman, she was a paragon of an effective board member. She could figure out the personal dynamics in a given situation, figure out what the real agenda is, and move people and get a consensus toward that agenda.’”

“Arlene was also known for coordinating fun and memorable annual meetings. She knew how valuable the social aspect could be for people who were often in adversarial roles. She recalls, ‘Here I was, not an attorney, I worked hard in my community to make this community a better place, and here this wonderful group of people, who I had such respect for, was respecting me back….I mean that very, very sincerely. It was just important to me in my life. And I’ve done a lot of things, I’ve worked for a lot of organizations, I’ve put on a lot of events, I’ve sat on a lot of boards, But the U.S. District Court Historical Society has a very, very special place in my heart.'”

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her son Jordan and to the greater community of Oregon.

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