Ex-Herd chaplain dies

Published 1:24 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Associated Press


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Father Robert Scott, a former Marshall University campus minister who helped the community heal after a plane crash in 1970, has died in New Jersey.

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The Paulist Fathers said in a news release that Scott died Monday. He was 90.

Scott usually traveled with Marshall’s football team but he decided to stay home when the Thundering Herd played East Carolina in Greenville, N.C., on Nov. 14 1970, The Herald-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/MCyCzi) said. Seventy-five Marshall players, coaches, staff and fans were killed when their chartered jet crashed just short Tri-State Airport while returning from the game.

In the days after the crash, Scott offered comfort to the Marshall community. He also participated in a memorial service at the football stadium.

“He was critically important to all of us after the crash in the healing process,” Jim Farley, former president of the Marshall Alumni Association, told the newspaper.

“He was a pillar of strength,” Farley said. “I can say that on a personal basis. I was shell shocked. When I would get emotional and was on the verge of tears, he had time for Jim Farley.”

Scott’s niece, Mary Scott of West Orange, N.J., told the newspaper he was funny, spiritual, good counsel and easy to talk to. The plane crash and its aftermath were “a dark time for him,” she said.

“It was painful. He never really got over it,” she said.

His plan for dealing with any tragedy was simple. “Just give it to the Holy Spirit,” Mary Scott said. “Our faith is our hope.”

Services will be held Thursday at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Totowa, N.J.