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Dr. Alice H. Scott

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Scott, Dr. Alice H. (nee Holly) departed this life on August 28, 2012, just 77 years after it began on July 8, 1935 in Jefferson County, Alabama. She bequeathed to her family and friends a lifelong legacy of accomplishment, professional achievement, motherly love and old-fashioned Southern hospitality. Alice was the first of three children - and the only girl - born to Annie Colbert Holly and the Rev. Frank D. Holly, Sr. She attended Spelman College in Atlanta on an academic scholarship, double-majoring in English and French. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1957. A year later she completed her Master's in Library Science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University), and moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. to work in a library branch that counted that borough's large West Indian population among its patrons. In 1983, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago's Graduate Library School. A tireless advocate for improving information access among underserved populations, her dissertation was entitled "Information-Seeking by the Urban Poor and its Relationship to Nonuse of the Public Library." In 1959, Alice married Alphonso Scott, who was a student at Morehouse College when she was at Spelman. They moved to Chicago, and Alice began working for the Chicago Public Library in the Woodlawn Regional Library on Kimbark Avenue in 1960. In her career at CPL, which lasted until her retirement in 1998, Alice held numerous management and director positions in branches throughout the South and Far South sides of the city, and at headquarters. She was named Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library in 1982. She retired as the highest ranking African American in the Chicago Public Library system. In 2004, the library awarded Alice with the Trailblazer Award for spearheading the creation of the African American Service Commission of Chicago for Ethnic Celebrations. Amidst these accomplishments, Alice was a partner to Alphonso as he rose through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department, and an always- accessible mom to Christopher and Alison Scott-Williams. Her holiday dinners were legendary - from the smoked turkey she tended to beginning in the pre-dawn hours to the cornbread and corn souffle - as was her German chocolate cake. Alice is survived by her husband, Alphonso; a son, Christopher (Lisa) and a daughter, Alison (Ivon); three grandchildren, Holly Scott and Ashton and Alan Williams; her brothers Frank Jr. (Betty) and Dr. John (Jackie) Holly; her nephews, Langston (Tsione) and Martin (Lisa) Holly; and dozens of cousins across the country. Viewing was held Friday, August 31, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cage Memorial Chapels, 7651 S. Jeffrey Blvd., Chicago, IL 60649, 773.721.8900. Visitation will be held for an hour on Saturday, September 1, at 10 a.m. at Cage Memorial Chapels, 7651 S. Jeffrey Blvd., Chicago, followed by the funeral service in the same location at 11 a.m. Entombment will be immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Spelman College (www.spelman.edu).
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Sept. 1, 2012
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