Samuel Jackson Scarboro Sr., 90, cherished and beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away surrounded by his family on May 12, 2017.
He loved God, his family and friends, America and great singing with all his heart. He had many interests: traveling, westerns, classic movies, history, antiques, art, sports and nature. He enjoyed spending time with his family during holidays, especially Christmas, and on family vacations on the Georgia coast where he played Setback (his family’s favorite card game), fished in the Marshes of Glynn, fed the sea gulls and ate fresh crab and trout. It was in the Golden Isles that he fell in love with and married Elizabeth Little Smith, in the First Methodist Church of Brunswick, Ga., on March 24, 1962.
An Atlanta native, Mr. Scarboro was born at Emory University Hospital on Oct. 17, 1926, to David Dewey and Grace Jackson Scarboro. He attended Druid Hills Elementary, Boys High, and graduated from Decatur High School, where he was recognized for his football skills as a fullback and kicker, for his extraordinary sense of humor and for his exceptional singing voice.
At 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served the country he loved so dearly in the Pacific during WWII. He won the boxing championship aboard the U.S.S. Nevada. After the war, he played football at the Darlington School in Rome and graduated from the Atlanta Division of the University of Georgia with a B.S. in business administration, followed by graduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and Indiana University.
He became an account manager with Superior Decals in Dallas, Texas, and then managed the Coca Cola and Budweiser accounts for D’Arcy Advertising in St. Louis, Mo. He later became an advertising executive and real estate broker in Atlanta. He and his wife reared their three children in Buckhead where they were active in civic, church and community activities.
Mr. Scarboro retired as co-owwner and president of North Decatur Shopping Center, Inc. in 1992, but continued to manage his other business interests.
His love for music began at an early age. At 12, he sang his first solos, “The Isle of Capris” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” on Atlanta’s WSB radio accompanied by Graham Jackson, President Roosevelt’s favorite musician. He later studied opera in New York City with Samuel Margolis, who also coached Jerome Hines, renowned Metropolitan Opera bass who became his friend and sang at his wedding. Mr. Scarboro recorded hymns that aired on New York’s WOR radio series, “Searching the Scriptures,” hosted by his friend and Presbyterian minister Dr. David W. Baker, MD. Dr. Baker later married Mr. Scarboro and his wife.
Together, they performed in many operas, musicals and concerts, including performances overseas. A former member of Roswell Presbyterian Church, Mr. Scarboro sang in the chancel choir for years. Mr. Scarboro often sang the “National Anthem” at Atlanta Braves and Falcons games and for other local events, such as the opening of Stone Mountain Park and the downtown Westin Hotel. He sang the role of Andrew in Jerome Hines’ opera “I Am the Way.” He studied his Bible daily and shared his faith by singing in many churches and overseas missions.
He was a member of the Atlanta National Golf Club and the Sea Island Beach Club. He was an honorary Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
Mr. Scarboro was pre-deceased by his parents and his brother David D. Scarboro Jr. (Gill), Winchcombe, England; and is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beth; his children and grandchildren: Samuel J. Scarboro, Jr. (Jodie) Tucker, Ga.; Forester D. Scarboro (Angela), Alyssa G. Scarboro and Shannon D. Scarboro, Richmond Hill, Ga.; Grace Scarboro O’Connor (Bill), Brian S. O’Connor and Jason W. O’Connor, Keller, Texas; brother-in-law Clyde C. Smith Jr. (Susan), Sea Island, Ga.; nephews Clyde C. Smith III (Jill), St. Simons Island, Ga.; David D. Scarboro III (Ann), Reading, England; N. Dale Scarboro (Alison), Cheltenham, England; and nieces Townsend S. Curran (Jim), Woodbridge, Va.; Susan M. Smith, Brookhaven, Ga.; and Andrea S. Burn (Dick), Withernsea, England. He is also survived by many great-nephews, great-nieces, cousins and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 27, at Christ Church Frederica, St. Simons Island, Ga, the Reverend Becky Rowell officiating. Burial will follow the service in Christ Church Frederica Cemetery. A reception in the Parish Hall will follow. In lieu of flowers, kindly contribute to either Christ Church Frederica, 6329 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, GA 31522; or Roswell Presbyterian Church, 755 Mimosa Boulevard, Roswell, GA 30075; or a charity of your choice.
Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home, Brunswick, Georgia is in charge of arrangements. www.edomillerandsons.com