Following a life full of faith, giving, loyalty and abundant love, Denise “Dee” Louise Lisac peacefully passed away Nov. 28, 2016, following a brief illness. Born in Portland on Sept. 25, 1964, to Joseph and Mary Lisac, Denise was the youngest of four children. Ms. Lisac and her family spent most of her youth living on the Willamette River in the countryside between Newberg and Wilsonville. As part of a very active family, Denise spent considerable time both snow and waterskiing, as well as spending many years playing competitive volleyball (which she coached later in life). She graduated from Newberg High School in 1982 and thereafter pursued a career in education, getting her undergraduate degree in 1986 and master’s in education in 1991 from Oregon State University.
Her teaching career included stints at Sandy Union High School and with the South Umpqua School District before she began her 26-year career at David Douglas High School, where she taught a variety of subjects including business, technology and marketing. Lisac dedicated herself to her students, fellow faculty members, David Douglas athletics and a variety of other Scots activities and events. For all 26 years, you could find her assisting the Scots football team as its football coordinator.
As with her school life, Ms. Lisac also dedicated herself wholly to her family, friends and dogs. A tireless giver, she loved nothing better than sitting around in a room full of people with whom she loved talking, laughing and having a good time. And if that involved watching a football game or playing cards, even better.
When it came to her dogs, she treated them like her children. Her Labrador Jax will miss her.
Given how many lives Ms. Lisac touched, she left a large contingent of loving family and friends. And when it comes to family, she was doubly blessed.
Ms. Lisac is survived by parents Joseph and Mary Lisac; her brother, Joe (Bernadette); nephew, Elliot (Kat); niece, Abigail Mason (Luke and children Mable and Thomas); her sister Tracy Akers (Dan); her sister Sally Leneve, (Lon) and nephews Andrew (Vonn), Tucker and Derek; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
The Wood family was blessed to have Denise enter their lives and become an active member of their family. She took great pleasure in football, outdoor sports, camping and watching over every member of the Wood family and her extended Scots family.
Denise is survived by Dan and Dana Wood; their sons Juston (Lindsay and their daughter Avila) and Darren (Nicole); and all the extended Wood family. She loved them all as if they were blood relatives, and she was greatly honored and proud to be the godmother of Avila.
The family wants loved ones to know Denise’s last days were spent exactly how she would have scripted them. She spent time before the Thanksgiving holiday with her sisters and parents; she took a road trip with the Woods over the holiday weekend to sunny and warm Southern California to see the Cal Poly family; and she returned to Portland to get back to teaching her kids. She and Dan Wood sat down Monday afternoon to watch the Civil War replay, as they had missed it while at the Cal Poly game on Saturday. How fitting it was that the last thing Dee witnessed was her beloved Beavers finally giving it to the Ducks.
A mass for Ms. Lisac has been held. A true passion of her’s was helping students succeed in life, so please consider a gift or donation in her honor to The Celtic Heart (C/O David Douglas High School—Denise Lisac; 1001 S.E. 135th Ave., Portland, OR 97233), an organization supporting the diverse resource needs of David Douglas students.
Previously published in The Oregonian.