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Former residents, Lake Owego mayor dies

Alice Schlenker, a former Port Orchard resident, was mayor of Lake Owego, Ore., from 1989 to 1996. - Courtesy Photo
Alice Schlenker, a former Port Orchard resident, was mayor of Lake Owego, Ore., from 1989 to 1996.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

A former Port Orchard resident who went on to become mayor of a Portland-area city died April 26.

Alice Harper Schlenker, 71, died of cancer, according to the Lake Oswego Review.

Schlenker was a 1959 graduate of South Kitsap High School.

She was born in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 23, 1941 and graduated from Marylhurst University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and moved to Lake Oswego in 1975.

Schlenker was elected to the Lake Oswego City Council in 1981, then in 1988 she was elected mayor. She was the first woman to hold the position in the city’s history. She served two terms as mayor, from 1989 to 1996.

During her mayoral tenure, Schlenker also served as president of the League of Oregon Cities from 1995 to 1996 and sat on the board of directors of the National League of Cities from 1993 to 1996.

After her time as mayor ended, Schlenker worked on the Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission beginning in 1998, and in 2000, she threw her hat in the ring as a Republican candidate to represent Oregon’s 1st District in Congress. This was prior to redistricting as Lake Oswego is now part of the Fifth Congressional District.

After losing the primary election to Charles Starr, Schlenker and her husband became frequent travelers, journeying to Athens to watch their daughter Lisa compete in rowing at the 2004 Olympic Games and spending time at their home in Longbranch, Wash., according to the Review.

In recent years Schlenker remained involved in Lake Oswego, as president of the Lake Oswego Heritage Council.

Schlenker is survived by her husband of 53 years, Harold Schlenker; son, David Schlenker of Gig Harbor; daughter, Lisa Schlenker of Madison, Wis.; and siblings, Richard, Robert and Phyllis Harper.

Services were held May 7 at Lake Oswego Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Oregon Humane Society, 1067 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland, or Oregon Food Bank, 7900 NE 33rd Drive, Portland.

 

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