Remembering Jim Scanlon

Longtime town councilor and inveterate op-ed writer Jim Scanlon passed on Nov. 18 in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he and his wife Judy had resided since moving from Bedford in December 2016. Jim and Judy were friends and neighbors of mine and my late wife Cindy’s for 15 years. Ever feisty, always true, Jim graced us with his insightfulness, his resolution and his unflagging loyalty.

Townspeople who are regular readers of this gazette will recognize Jim’s name from the dozens of opinion pieces he contributed over the years in which he was active in town politics. Jim never shied from stating his point of view in bold, often challenging verbiage. Through cancer, the loss of one eye, a hard fought but losing battle to preserve the other, broken bones, and more cancer, he ploughed through the stormy seas of life with a courage and tenacity which inspired and humbled. His personal tragedies would have sent most of us back to our corners to lick our wounds and contemplate the injustice of fate; but throughout them all, Jim served energetically as Town Councilor, and inserted himself in the center of numerous contentious debates. L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace – Frederick’s words were as written for Jim Scanlon.

Those with courage enough to take a public stand for their convictions will always, necessarily, have their detractors, and Jim’s example is no exception to that rule. He was faithful to his inner compass, and lived with a sense of urgency, a drive to do what he could, while he could. My family and I were blessed by the love and affection he and Judy had for us. Gone but not forgotten, my friend. … Farewell, Jim, and thank you!