In Memory

Robert James Scannell


Central 1953 Robert J Scannell

Robert James Scannell July 11, 1935 November 25, 2017 Robert James Scannell died on November 25, 2017, in Mahwah, N.J., surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. Bob was born on July 11, 1935, in South Bend, Ind. to John A. and Lois Dimmick Scannell. A 1953 graduate of South Bend's Central high school, he excelled as a student athlete. He earned all-state honors in football and was also a member of the 1953 Indiana state champion basketball team. During his senior year he was named the outstanding student/athlete in northern Indiana, after which he moved on to the University of Notre Dame. At Notre Dame he was a three-year football letterman and earned his bachelor's degree in physical education, graduating magna cum laude in 1957. While at Notre Dame, Bob met and eventually married Regina Feehan, a St. Mary's College student from Kansas City, Kan. Bob and Gina enjoyed 53 years of marriage until her death in 2009. After graduating from Notre Dame, Bob and Gina moved to State College to allow Bob to pursue a Master's degree at Penn State. After completing his Master's, they returned to South Bend, where he taught science and served as head football and head swimming coach at John Adams High School. In 1961, they returned to State College, where Bob pursued a PhD and was an instructor in the College of Health and Physical Education. His PhD was conferred in 1965. Thereafter he served as an Assistant and Associate Professor as well as Associate Dean. During this time he also served in several university-wide roles, including Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Faculty Senate. In 1970, he was named Professor and Dean of the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), which at the time included oversight of the Penn State athletic department. During Bob's tenure as Dean, Penn State enjoyed great success academically and in intercollegiate athletics. He was an enthusiastic advocate for Penn State women's athletics, which grew dramatically during the 1970's and were seen as national leaders in implementing Title IX legislation. He served as Dean of HPER until 1980, at which time he became Vice President and Dean of the Commonwealth Educational System, a unit that then included all of Penn State's Continuing Education programs and all Penn State campuses beyond University Park. In 1988, following 27 years of service, Bob retired from Penn State and became Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, a consortium of four colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area. He retired from that position in 1995, after which he and Gina happily returned to State College to enjoy "full retirement," a period which included a decade of volunteer service with SCORE, an organization that provides small business counseling to entrepreneurs in Central Pennsylvania. In 2010, following Gina's passing, Bob married his former next-door neighbor and long-time family friend Barbara Impellitteri. Over the next 7.5 years they traveled extensively and spent much of the year at their home on Long Island Sound in Old Lyme, Conn. While their years together were short, they enjoyed much happiness and laughter with family and friends. In addition to Barbara, Bob is survived by a sister, Pat Hogoboom, of Parchment, Mich.; a sister-in-law, Joyce Scannell, of Sydney, Australia; four children, two step-children; and 11 grandchildren. Son Bob and his wife Kelly live in San Francisco with two daughters and a son. Son James and his wife Hope (Shaw, of State College) live in West Hartford, Conn. and have two daughters. Son Tim and his wife Brigid live in Mahwah, N.J. and have two sons and a daughter. Daughter Maura Lennon lives in Kenilworth, Ill. with her husband Kevin, two sons and a daughter. Bob's step-children, Alaina Impellitteri Esber and husband Chet, and Tom Impellitteri and his wife Kim, all live in State College. Bob was predeceased by a brother, John B. Scannell, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Throughout his years in State College he was an active member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic church, where the mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2017. A visitation will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017, from 4:30-8:00 p.m. at Koch Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Our Lady of Victory Church, 820 Westerly Parkway, State College, PA 16801 or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at or visit us on Facebook.

jmc 29 nov 2017