Clarice Lorraine Wallace Schorzman

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Memories & Candles

“Love to you on this first anniversary of her passing. Drop in and visit me as you drive on I-5! ”
1 of 8 | Posted by: Aunt barb - Family

“My condolences to Clarice's family. I had the privilege of working with Clarice in Washougal. Her dedication to students was obvious to all as was...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Jan Storm - Washougal, WA

“I loved this women. She was an honest and direct person. She was in my life at those sometimes strange teenage years. She often reminded me that it...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Margie Gannon - St maries, ID

“In life there is always that one high school teacher that helps mold a teenager into an amazing future. Ms. Schorzman did that for me. She was my...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Teri Bellingham Holm - OR

“Clarice was my friend, my mentor, and a true sage on the stage of life. We worked together in two states and two different school districts. I was...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Beth Lund - West Linn, OR

“Clarice was an amazing, unique person and one outstanding principal. It was lucky for me (Steve) that she was available for hire when I became the...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Steve and Kym Dickenson

“Bret our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will surely miss Clarice. ”
7 of 8 | Posted by: Kay Ball - Vancouver, WA

“Peace and Aloha to the entire family! Sorry for your lose. ”
8 of 8 | Posted by: Jessie Mitchell - Mililani, HI

Clarice Lorraine Wallace Schorzman, a longtime educator and leader who spent 42 years in education innovating and building consensus, died Jan. 7 at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore.

She was 78.

Clarice was born May 3, 1938 to Genevieve Lorraine Isom and James Boyd Wallace in Colville, Wash. Her parents divorced when she was an infant and she spent her childhood in the Spokane area with her mother, step-father Clarence Bannister and sister Barbara Jo Bannister. She graduated in 1956 from West Valley High School.

She attended Eastern Washington State College (now Eastern Washington University) in Cheney, where she was active in the drama program. She married Lee West Schorzman on Sept. 14, 1958, and she worked for two years as the sewing instructor for the Singer Sewing Machine Co. in Spokane, Wash. while she completed college.

In 1960, Clarice and Lee moved to his parent's wheat ranch near Odessa, Wash. Their sons Boyd West and Britt West were born in 1960 and 1962. Barbara lived with them on the ranch for four years during high school.

In 1963, she returned to Eastern Washington, commuting 60 miles each way for two years. She graduated in 1965. She worked for nine years as the home economics, English and art teacher at Ritzville High School. During that time she also worked on obtaining her Master's degree in home and family life education in 1969 from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.

Clarice and Lee divorced in 1969 and in 1974 she and her sons moved to Hillsboro, Ore. She taught home economics and English at Vernonia High School until 1981.

She received her school administration credentials in 1980 from Portland State University and in 1981 became assistant principal at Taft Elementary and Middle School in Lincoln City, Ore. While at Taft, she spearheaded a student-led project to build a covered walkway on the campus. The students received a state leadership award as a result of it.

In 1984, Clarice became principal of Toledo Middle School in the Lincoln County School District. During her two years at Toledo, she directed a successful levy to build a new middle school and wrote a winning $5,000 entry in the MetLife Foundation's national "Healthy Me" program for the district.

In 1986, Clarice moved to Vancouver, Wash. and served as principal of Jemtegaard Middle School in Washougal. While at Jemtegaard, she developed a team-based program and the school became a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, a reform-based program developed by Theodore Sizer at Brown University in Providence, R.I. Clarice was named a Thomson Fellow for the Coalition and worked in the outreach program. In 1992, Jemtegaard Middle School was the only Northwest school named a National Blue Ribbon School. The school hosted visitors from throughout the United States and was a host school for the 1993 National Middle School Association, held in Portland, Ore.

Clarice became principal of Colton (Ore.) Middle School in 1996. She commuted 40 miles each way from Vancouver for 11 years. She was named Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year in 2006 and retired from education in 2007 after 42 years.

In retirement Clarice pursued her lifelong passions. She always had cats in her superbly decorated house in Vancouver, naming them after TV stations. She designed stained glass hangings and windows on her highly organized workbench in the garage. She worked on writing a book about quilt design and had numerous quilt projects. She collected cookbooks from around the world, and at the end of her life her collection stretched the entire length of her hallway.

She traveled. She traipsed around the United States and went to England three times, taking her longtime friend Bernie with her to share in the adventure. While in England she visited Isom family sites dating back to 1695. She traveled to China for 16 days in 2007, coming home with food poisoning but also a treasure trove of Chinese antiques. She took her grandsons on a road trip to Canada, taking the ferry to Victoria, B.C. where they stayed at The Empress and enjoyed High Tea.

Always the inquisitive mind, she pieced together her Isom family history. She organized Isom family reunions in South Sioux City, Neb., Madison, Wisc., Vancouver, Wash. and Colorado. She traveled to Paris and also pursued her great-grandmother Isom's birthplace in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

She was at her best, though, when she hosted friends and family for the holidays or any number of parties. For her retirement she prepared a five-course sit-down dinner for 77 guests under a tent in her backyard and then let her guests roast her. She enjoyed teaching others the ways of fine dining, and she established a tradition with her grandsons where every year on their birthdays she took them to a nice restaurant where the only requirement was, "it had to have a white tablecloth."

Perhaps her most famous event, though, was during Easter. For 29 years, she hosted an off-beat (some would say bizarre) adult Easter egg hunt. As the Master of the Hunt, she was serious about not taking The Hunt seriously, decorating yearly themed eggs, awarding points (and demerits to her sons and mischievous grandsons) and awarding the winner each year with a 21-carrot salute and an enormous chocolate bunny. Everyone left with a certificate and a fully-filled basket of candy.

A lifelong baseball fan, she did live long enough to see her favorite team, the Cleveland Indians, make it back to the World Series only to watch them lose in gut-wrenching fashion in seven games. But she always relished rooting for an underdog.

An avowed liberal, she was creative, often rebellious of conventions and her favorite words were: "How does that work?", "Why is it like that?", "What would happen if?" and "Who says we can't do that?" To the end of her life she was highly organized, writing out daily to-do lists. Everything had its place in her tidy home.

She leaves behind sons Boyd West Schorzman, 56, of Seattle and Britt West Schorzman, 54, of Grants Pass, Ore.; Daughter Debbie Sokol Schorzman,