James Thomas Scarnati; Lt.Col. (Ret.) United States Army
On Wednesday 2/3/21 at the age of 79. Predeceased by his beloved wife of 43 years, Betty Jane Bearfield Scarnati and their infant son, Thomas.
He is survived by his, son James (Tammy) Scarnati and grandchildren James III and Megan. He also left behind his daughter Catherine, grandchildren Madeline and Colin Lathrop and former son-in-law David Lathrop.
Jim was lucky enough to find love a second time with his amazing wife Nancy Baldanza Scarnati. After meeting in a support group for people who lost their spouses, he convinced Nancy to go on a date and won her over with his charm, wit and (he would say) dashing good looks. They were married for 10 years. Jim is also survived by Nancy and her children, John (Rachael) Baldanza and their son Ben and Julie (Bob) Dioguardi and their daughters Alison and Emma.
Jim will be missed by his brother, Joseph (Yvonne) Scarnati and sister, Sylvia (Tony) DiVenere, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Jim graduated from Brockway High school in 1959. He went on to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and finally earned his PhD. in science education at Syracuse University. He proudly served his country for 28 years and retired from the US Army 98th Division as a Lt. Colonel. Jim was proud of his military service and always encouraged others to explore the military. He was especially proud of the ROTC program, which helped him pay for college and was the start of his military journey.
As a life-long educator, Jim taught in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District and the Webster Central School District in NY, then served as a superintendent of schools in Chautauqua School District (NY), Warren County School District (PA) and the Coatesville Area School District (PA).
Jim loved being retired. When asked what he would do each day he would answer, “Whatever I want!” He especially enjoyed not going to meetings and going out for breakfast every day. He spent his free time polishing his thunderbirds, puttering around in his yard and writing a self-published, fictionalized book of his childhood in Brockway, PA. He took time to travel the world and only a global pandemic could keep him home. As much as Jim loved to travel and see new things, his heart always belonged to Brockway. Jim loved the Old-Fashioned 4th of July and spending time relaxing and visiting his family and friends there. He was a memorable man who made everyone feel special. If you were lucky enough to know Jim, you were lucky enough.
Calling hours will be on Monday , February 15 from 9AM to 9:45 AM in the Chapel at St. Tobias Church in Brockway. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10AM with Msgr. Charles Kaza presiding. Social distancing protocols will be in place and masks are required. Burial will follow in St. Tobias Cemetery. Full Military Honors will be accorded by Parnson-Marnati Post #95 of the American Legion Monday moring at the church. A celebration of his life will be held this summer at a date to be determined.
Donations in honor of Jim can be made to:
Honor Flight of Rochester (www.honorflightrochester.org); Veterans Outreach Center of Rochester (www.veteransoutreachcenter.com) or The Henrietta Public Library (www.hpl.org)
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