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Arlene Schnitzer spent her life in the Northwest. She was born in Salem and raised in Portland. Her parents, Simon and Helen Director, owned a high-end furniture store.

VIA OPB - Arlene with her husband Harold Schnitzer. The couple's active involvement in Portland civic life led to some calling them Portland's "first couple."Arlene Schnitzer died Saturday after a long illness. She was 91 years old. Schnitzer transformed the Northwest art scene in the 1960s and 1970s and championed the work of local artists. Schnitzer and her husband, the late Harold Schnitzer, were among Oregon's most generous philanthropists. They donated more than $80 million to various causes.

"If there's a lesson from her life, what she said to me this morning is she said, 'Don't stop caring about the community,'" Arlene's son, Jordan Schnitzer, said.

Jordan said his mother died Saturday afternoon at home surrounded by family.

"She had announced the other day that since my father died almost 10 years ago in April, she mentioned to one of the caregivers that she wanted to die in April to be with him," Jordan said.

"She was a role model certainly for me and others," he said.

Click here to read the rest of the story by OPB, a news partner of Pamplin Media.


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