Raymond W. Scallen, M.D., a proud World War II veteran and esteemed Minneapolis physician for more than half a century, died on February 25, 2019. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Mary Hamel Scallen, and many family members and friends.
Dr. Ray, as he was known to his patients, was in private practice as a cardiologist and internist in Minneapolis for over 60 years. He had just closed his practice in December 2018 after serving as family physician and friend to four generations of many families. He was also the long-time head of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit at the Minneapolis Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, where he worked for fifty years. Ray liked to wear his combat infantry ribbon on his jacket while working there so that his patients would know that he, too, had experienced the difficulties of war. As a member of the medical faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School, he taught and mentored medical students and nurses for many decades, rising to the rank of Professor. The former chief of staff and chief of medicine at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, he joined the picket line of the Abbott-Northwestern nurses during their strike in June 2016—at the age of 90.
Ray was a proud Irish-American, and he and Mary visited Ireland 3 times. They also took river cruises in France, to see Paris and Normandy, where they visited WWII battle sights and cemeteries. As a lifelong Roman Catholic, a highlight of his later years was a visit to the University of Notre Dame, where they attended a private mass offered by the legendary president of the university, Father Theodore Hesburgh. He followed St. Thomas College (now University) football throughout his life, as well as Notre Dame football. An accomplished track athlete in high school, as an adult Dr. Ray was an avid skier, and was especially fond of the Aspen mountain ski trails, where he skied into his early 80s. He and Mary also attended the Aspen Music Festival several times in the 1990s, and were avid concert and theatergoers both in the Twin Cities and in New York, where they enjoyed the Metropolitan Opera. Widely read, he had a life-long fascination with automobiles, and loved dogs and a few select cats. Everyone at Abbott Hospital could recognize Dr. Scallen from afar by his Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat. He believed in a life of service to others, and lived his values. He was dearly loved by family, friends, colleagues and patients.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, he attended St. Thomas Military Academy. Shortly after beginning college at the University of Minnesota, he was drafted into the army in 1943 along with his identical twin, Tom. While in basic training in Louisiana he volunteered at the local hospital, helping by stitching up emergency-room patients. He was told not to give any local anesthetic to the African-American patients, an order he quietly chose to ignore. Ray served in the European theater of WWII, and was a decorated combat infantryman who earned a Bronze Star for heroism. After his war service, he completed his education at the University of Minnesota, receiving his medical degree in 1952.
In 1950 he married Mary Teberg, MD; together they had four children, three of whom survive him: Ann Block (Barry), Mary Hagen (Gary), and Catherine Scallen (Robert Brown), as do his grandchildren; Matthew Hagen (Sarah) and Jennifer Hagen, and his great-granddaughter, Alyssa Hagen. He is also survived by his brother Stephen Scallen (Chacke), his sisters-in-law Bille Scallen and Joan Scallen, and his many nephews and nieces. Ray Scallen was the patriarch of the extended Scallen clan for many decades, always ready to offer counsel, support, and when necessary, tough love. He was predeceased by his parents, Raymond A. and Lenore Scallen, his brothers, Terence and Thomas, his first wife, Mary Teberg Scallen, his son, Raymond M. Scallen and his sister-in-law, Mary S. Scallen.
In 1993 he married Mary Seign Hamel, who like him, is an identical twin. He is also survived by his seven stepchildren and their spouses: Frank, Mary Therese, Paul (Sarah), Elizabeth, Arnold (Stephanie), Stephen (Jane), James (Nicole), and many step-grandchildren. Ray and Mary joyfully celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in August 2018, surrounded by their large families and many friends.
Special thanks to his friend and medical partner of over 40 years, Dr. James Stevenson, who attended him in his final days, Maggie Rannow and the office staff, and Father Joseph P. Gillespie.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, March 15, from 4-8 PM at Gill Brothers, 5801 South Lyndale Avenue.
A funeral mass will be said at St. Albert the Great Church, 3216 East 29th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406 in Minneapolis on Saturday, March 16, at 10:30 AM.
Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to St. Albert the Great Church of Minneapolis, or the cause of the donor’s choice.