Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

Farewell Old Friend!

My old and dear friend and colleague John Scarlata past away last Thursday, July 17th surrounded by his family in Boone, NC. John had been fighting cancer for the past few years and it finally got the best of him.

I first met John at a Society for Photographic Education conference at Penland, NC back in 1986. I was still in graduate school looking for a teaching job and drove to Penland with my Professor Henry Stindt and fellow graduate student Joe Champagne. I can still see John sitting on the wooden fence in front of the dining hall with Tom Braswell waving to us as we pulled into Penland. I had never met him before but he came up to us and introduced himself and it was like we were old friends from that very first encounter. John was a driving force in SPE over the years and an inspiration to me and many others in the region. I’m so glad I got to see him at the last SPE conference in Atlanta. John will be sorely missed! He was a great educator, photographer, colleague and friend! He also had a great mustache.

Farewell John and God Speed!

Feel free to post any thoughts or memories shared with John to this blog. These photos bring back some great memories for me

Joe Champagne, Gil Leebrick and John - SPE Regional 2008

SPE Regional Savannah, 2003 - 3 Mustashteers

Print Sharing SPE 2003 - John Loved Looking at Work!

John Leading Regional Meeting at SPE National, Portland

SPE Regional 2001 - Me, Joe, John and Tom

A memorial celebration for John Scarlata will be held Saturday, June 26, at 2 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone. A covered dish dinner will follow at the family’s home in the Matney community.
Additional information is available at


9 comments on “Farewell Old Friend!

  1. Pat
    June 23, 2010

    Good Morning Patrick! I am very sorry to hear of your friends death. I lost two good friends last week as well, one on Thursday..June 17th, and another on Sunday Night,(Fathers Day ) June 20th. Cancer was the culprit that took them both! What a shame. So young….their lives were just beginning to smooth out….and cancer strikes! What a dreadful disease!
    One thing I can say about the both of you…..’Great Mustaches”..: .It takes a real man to be able to sport around a mustache like that! 🙂

  2. Roberto Muffoletto
    June 23, 2010

    I really never got to know john very well. My loss. It was partly because of being in different departments, me not teaching photography, and the college of education being different from the Technology/photo department. But John and I had some time together and I enjoyed knowing him and his work. At SPE national this year I had a chance to talk with John and when we parted I knew I was saying good-bye. Sad. I also lost 2 friends this year, one was a life friend, a brother for the last 20 years. It is hard to say good-bye, but I know in my essence that we do move on to form of existence. See ya John.

  3. Kenny Barrow
    June 23, 2010

    I feel for you and your loss and the emotional suffering you are feeling when someone you connect with is taken away. In past years I too have gone through this experience. It is a personal and highly individual experience because the death of a friend or loved one does often cause the most intense grief.
    But remember that the grieving process takes time, it’s important and you must be patient with yourself and allow the process to evolve naturally. You may experience all kinds of difficult and surprising emotions. These are normal reactions to loss and accepting them as part of the grieving process and allowing yourself to feel what you feel is necessary for healing.
    An important influence in healing from loss is having the support of other people. I applaud you in making this post and leaning on the people who care about you. People want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need.
    The years I spent at Carteret and the friendship we developed there, as well as the experiences I myself have lived through, cause me to truly empathize and share in your grief.
    Your friend,
    Kenny Barrow

    • Shannon Ayers
      June 23, 2010

      I’m sorry to hear that he passed away. I wish I could have known him as well has you did. I have seen a few people that I hold dearly pass away here recently and it is hard to say goodbye. My prayers are with you and John’s family.. Take care and God Bless.

  4. Mark Malloy
    June 23, 2010

    Patrick, my condolences. I know how close you and John were, and can appreciate the hole his passing has left in your world.

    I worked with and for John for the last seven years, right up to last Thursday night, and so was well aware of the friendship you two had. To put things in perspective for those who don’t know, and at risk of dating myself, I’d say you two were a mix of the Smothers Brothers personality but with Rowan & Martin’s intellect. (If some miss the reference, I’ll gladly provide links).

    I’m in Los Angeles now, preparing to move here next month, but I’m trying to get back to Boone in time for the memorial service on Saturday. I hope to see you there, but if not, then Atlanta for SPESE.

    My best and my love,
    Mark (Malloy)

  5. Ann Ehringhaus
    June 24, 2010

    thanks, Patrick, for the tribute and pictures. John was always an inspiration and fun to be with! as well as a great teacher. He had some fine workshops on the Outer Banks and I was always happy to join in or have them over to Ocracoke for a visit and/or photo discussion or critique.***
    My thoughts and love will be with you all on Sat., as I will not be in Boone, but will be honoring this passing of John Scarlata with a ritual at the beach. love, ann

  6. keoughp
    June 24, 2010

    Thanks to all of you who have posted so far. John touched many, many lives during his journey through life. Yes Ann those photo retreats on Ocracoke were special, as were all those wonderful SPE conferences and retreats that we all got to share work, have some fun and learn from one another. We all shared a passion for photography and teaching. Yes Mark…John’s death has left a hole in all who knew him.

  7. Tom Braswell
    June 30, 2010

    Pat, old friend,

    What a nice tribute to John. Love the photographs. John’s memorial this past Saturday in Boone was a great outpouring of love and remembrance for an exceptional man who was loved by so many. It was a sad and beautiful day. I had the honor of being asked by John to speak at his service, a difficult thing to do when moved by so much emotion.

    John’s great spirit and the significant body of work he created are a part of his legacy that will remain and inspire us as we remember and celebrate his life. Perhaps some of us eastern NC friends of John can get together and share some John stories.

    Peace and love,
    Tom Braswell

  8. keoughp
    July 1, 2010

    This blog tribute was the best I could do for John Tom considering the distance to Boone from MC. Yes…John touched many MANY people in all walks of life. Yes…we need to all get together possibly at Ann’s on Ocracoke and share some memories and hoist a few in his honor. He will be missed but his spirit and awesome work lives on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on June 23, 2010 by in Keough Journal, Photography and tagged .
%d bloggers like this: