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Nell S. Foster Schaenen

Apr 29, 2009

Long-time islander Nell Schaenen died at her Sanibel home on March 18, 2009. She was 87.

Born Feb. 10, 1922, in Richmond, Ky., she was the daughter of the late Dr. Richard Allen Foster, a retired professor of English at The Ohio University, and Sadie Edith Duvall Foster. She received College of Music Conservatory scholarships at Brandwell, N.Y., and also studied in Paris and Tanglewood, Mass.

Nell retired after a 25-year career singing opera and teaching lyric diction in Europe and the U.S. She was a member of Alpha Xi sorority and the American Conservatory of Chicago.

She is survived by her brother-in-law – William Conley Smith of Monterey, Calif.; two nieces – Dr. Anna Duvall Smith of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Peigi Duvall of San Carlos, Calif.; and a nephew – Hart Conley Smith of Monterey. She was laid to rest in Athens, Ohio beside her beloved husband, Lee Schaenen, former director of The Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and their adored son, Joel Foster Schaenen.

Memorials may be made to BIG Arts of Sanibel, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel, FL 33957; condolences should be directed to nellschaenenmemorial@comcast.com.