Barbara (Alexis) Jeanne Melancon

Nov 19, 1927 – Apr 25, 2019

Barbara Alexis Jeanne Melancon obituary image 1



Sister Alexis Melancon, age 91, a Sister of Providence for 68 years, died April 25, 2019, at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, WA.  Vigil Service:  Thursday, May 9, 2019, at 6:30 PM, and Funeral Mass: Friday, May 10, 2019, at 11:00 AM, both at St. Joseph Residence, 4800 37th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA.  Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, WA, after Mass and reception.  Bonney Watson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Barbara Jeanne Melancon was born November 19, 1927 to Henry Joseph Melancon and Mary Helen Melancon (Flaherty), Portland, Oregon.  She was the youngest of two daughters.  Barbara entered the Sisters of Providence in November 17, 1949 at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle, Washington, and in May 1950, she became a novice.  In November 1951 she professed first vows and received the name Sister Alexis.  In November 1955 she professed final vows. 

In 1936 the family moved to Walla Walla, WA. Barbara graduated in 1945 from St. Vincent Academy in Walla Walla.  In 1949, Barbara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She attended the College of Great Falls in the summer of 1952, various colleges in Southern California, and in 1969 Sister Alexis received her Master of Education (MEd) with a major in Education Administration from the University of Washington, Seattle.  Also, in 1988 she became a licensed housing manager certified by the National Leased Housing Association, Portland.        

Sister Alexis’ ministry of 34 years was in education as an elementary/secondary teacher, counselor and principal, from 1951-85.  In Washington:  Sacred Heart School, Tacoma; Holy Family School, Seattle, St. Joseph School, Yakima, and Providence Academy, Vancouver.  In Alaska:  Catholic Junior High School, Anchorage; and in California:  Providence High School and St. Finbar School, in Burbank.  From 1986-2000 she became the director of Emilie House, a Northeast Portland Housing of Urban Development (HUD-assisted) housing project founded by the Sisters of Providence for low-income elderly and disabled residents. 

In late 1985, Sister Alexis travelled to Jerusalem, Israel, to begin a nine-month biblical study program in the Holy Land.  In 1986 she travelled to England and Ireland, and in 1991 toured Russia and Hungary.  Also, in 1998 Sister Alexis went to El Salvador for a cultural experience to be with her sisters and minister to the poor.

In 2001 Sister Alexis retired and moved to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, where she volunteered and became the treasurer of St. Joseph Residence, in addition to being a Retirement Trust Committee trustee from 2003-12. Her favorite pastime was reading mysteries, in addition to travelling and spending cherished time with family, friends and her sisters in community. 

Sr. Alexis is preceded in death by her parents.  She is survived by her sister, Rosemary Theresa Melancon Peacock, Walla Walla, WA, nephews and nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Avenue SW, #9016, Renton, WA 98057-9016.  To view Sister Alexis’ obituary with her picture and to sign her memory book, please visit the website for Bonney-Watson Funeral Home at


K. Williams
Natchez, MS
Jun 15, 2019

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Please keep in mind that God will heal your broken hearts and will strengthen you during this difficult time. (Psalm 147:3) To find out more regarding the hope for the dead, visit and search “death”.

Connie Swafford Grenz
Vancouver, WA
May 9, 2019

Sr. Alexis was my role model. She was a great leader in a kind, considerate way, full of poise. What a blessing to have had her in our lives! She has left an indelible mark of christian behavior of the highest standard. May our Lord carry her swiftly to heaven.

Luci Herdener DeZort
Brush Prairie, Wa
May 8, 2019

Sister Alexis was a huge influence in the lives of so many of us. We were lucky to have her as our principal at Providence Academy in Vancouver. She was an inspiring influence and most often brought a sense of fun to each and every day.

Claudia Robertson
Portland, OR
May 8, 2019

I knew Sister Alexis when I delivered Meals on Wheels at Emilie House in Portland. She came to an Aging 101 information session presented by Elders in Action just to learn more about working with seniors. She was a delight to know. Always kind, always cheerful, always welcoming, always smiling. And she had a wonderful sense of humor and a twinkle in her eye. I feel blessed to have known her, and was sad to see her retire. I am glad to know that she was just as vital in her “retirement”.

My condolences to her family and all who loved her.

Carol Newman Nelson
Kent, WA
May 6, 2019

When Sister Alexis came to be our principal at PAV, she renewed the spirit of fun in our school days. She was a patient teacher, a wonderful model of respect and presence, but most of all, she was fun! Many of us were privileged to honor her on her 90th birthday. Her spirit is still very present with us.

Barbara Jutila
Vancouver , WA
May 5, 2019

Sr. Alexis was an amazing principal and teacher. In my entire education experience, she was one of the best teachers I had. She explained Algebra so clearly and patiently to us freshmen at Providence Academy. What a dynamic woman!!

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.