Barbara (Alexis) Jeanne Melancon
Nov 19, 1927 – Apr 25, 2019
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 www.bonneywatson.com
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.