Death of Fernie M. Scovel, former missionary in Turkey

Death of Fernie M. Scovel, former missionary in Turkey

January 23, 1926 – May 7, 2013

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Fernie M. Scovel, 87, on May 7, 2013, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Fernie was born January 23, 1926, in Rapid City to Allen and Mary Scovel.  She was raised with her brother and sisters in the Pennington County Jail when her father was elected Sheriff of Pennington County.  In those years it was customary for the Sheriff and his family to move into the jail quarters, where his wife would also be the cook for the prisoners.

After completing her education in the United States, Fernie served as a missionary teacher from 1949 to 1991 under the United Church Board of World Ministries of the United Church of Christ, teaching mathematics and science courses in schools operated by the church’s mission in Turkey.  She taught at the American Collegiate Institute (Ozel Izmir Amerikan Lisesi) in Izmir, Turkey, and in the church mission in Istanbul, Turkey, where the mission operated a girls’ school.  The program involved teaching young Turkish girls.  The girls wore school uniforms and received bed, board, and a graduation certificate after graduating from the Collegiate Institute so they could make their way in the world. 

Fernie retired from the missions in 1991 and returned to the United States.  She lived in Hill City, South Dakota, then moved to West Hills Village in 2000, and in 2010 moved to Fountain Springs Health Care in Rapid City.

She was preceded in death by her sisters, Elizabeth Kent and Gertrude Scovel, and her brother, Bruce Scovel.  She is survived by her nephew, Al Scovel, an attorney in Rapid City; her great niece, Dr. Kari Scovel, a psychologist in Rapid City; and a great-nephew, Dr. Clark Scovel, who lives in Tennessee.

Fernie served a multitude of children in Turkey and dedicated her life to the betterment of humanity.  She was a very bright and dedicated individual and will be missed by those who knew her.  Memorial services are pending.

Messages of condolence can be sent to Mr. Al Scovel, at 2902 West Main Street, Suite 1, Rapid City, SD 57702, or

Memorial gifts may be sent to Global Ministries, 700 Prospect Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100.