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alabaster

Sad news: A death in the family

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As the title suggests, this is not a happy post, but it is news that we felt should be shared with the entire Otakon membership.

I'm sorry to report that John Scofield, Con Chair for Otakon 1998, died this weekend after a long battle with cancer.

If you do a little searching online, you'll find John mentioned a lot -- most often by way of thanks from others during the early years of Otakon. It's been a while since John was active -- 2002 or so -- but he played an important role in building this organization, and many of the senior staffers of today got their start thanks to Sco.

John had many, many dear friends in the "old guard" at Otakon, and they're still in shock.

It might be nice for folks to share any memories they have of John here.

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Of course, I knew Sco from Otakon; when I first started, John was working with guest transportation, and I was drafted to help out with the driver pool. When he had to unexpectedly bail, I kind of took over for him, and because of that, I wound up in a slightly more critical role than I'd expected, right away. In a very real way, I owe some of my success at Otakon to Scofield. I'd see him occasionally at con after that, and I knew he'd got married, and I knew we both owned VWs for a while. I won't pretend we were close; we were casual friends who worked the con together -- Otakon breeds many such easy friendships. (Ironically, John's year as chair was 1998, the one year I missed since I started going to Otakon.)

I've only recently discovered how connected I was to Sco: his wife and one of my college friends were in a knitting club together, and Sco apparently used to work with another friend of mine from a completely different part of my life. I discovered this -- and rediscovered John -- about a year ago on Facebook. We chatted several times since then, but I was surprised to hear occasional mentions of chemotherapy, being unaware of his troubles until fairly recently. I had assumed he meant "at chemo with a relative", because Sco was roughly my age, and thus too young for such worries. (For a bit of perspective, I'll be 40 this summer.)

I posted this mostly to get the ball rolling -- there are others who knew him better, who can talk more eloquently about what he meant to them or what he contributed to Otakon.

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didnt know him personally, but sorry to hear it!

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My thoughts will be with the Otakon family. Very sorry to hear about your loss. :)

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As one of the "old guard" staff members I was very sad to hear of Sco's passing. Like many of us who lost touch with him I did not know of his illness. If you were around a while, you may have remembered him as a vivacious and jovial otaku, a fine leader, and a generally good person. Everyone, please make sure you keep his wife and family in your thoughts.

Requiescat in Pace, John Scofield.

Neal

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I'm sorry to hear about this loss though I am just a attendee, otakon is a another family to me in its own way my prayers go out to his family and friends.

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My thoughts with the Otakon family :[ I'm sorry for your loss.

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My hearts go out to everyone in the Otakon and Scofield family, as well as all the anime con friends out there who were lucky enough to spend time in his smile.

One of my favorite memories is of us sitting and talking on Sunday of the con, and I teased him that it was the first time I saw him actually 'sit down' since everything started. And he said:

"How could I sit down when I'm surrounded by heaven right now? That's like taking a break from counting your lotto winnings! Why would you stop?!"

I was a very shy, introverted person before anime and conventions and it is a huge part of my life. Friends like Sco really made you feel loved and like you 'belonged'. I miss him dearly.

I found this review of Otakon 1996 (my very first anime convention) written by John Scofield who I miss very badly. My tears today for my loss, the guilt I have of not knowing how sick he really was, and for not keeping in touch as much as I could have is great. Reading his words felt like sitting here talking to him and I realized I should not be sad but happy that he was in my life at all. I miss you Sco - so very much.

http://www.cjas.org/~leng/scotaku.txt

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Sco was part of a circle of friends outside Otakon before I ever got involved with the convention. I remember the first Otakon I went to, giving him a hug hello, and then being grateful to him for intervening as some strange guy I didn't know tried to hug me just because I'd hugged Sco. I also remember him patiently explaining to that same guy the next morning how it was just not a good thing to be sleeping under a table in the public area just because he couldn't get a hotel room, not good either for the guy himself or the con (Sco even offered to help the guy get a room).

The Sco I remember was a friendly, intelligent, frank person. I haven't spoken to him in a while, but I fondly remember him.

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Same here, I knew of him from the old guard ,but again he dropped out of Otakon and I didn't know where he went.

Sad to hear that this type of news brings us all together ,but instead of grieving let us celebrate his life.

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My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Scofield's family,

and his extended family as well.

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My family sends our condolences to his family.

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I dont recall ever meeting Sco, but Ive always heard good things about him. His legacy to Otakon/Otakorp will always be remembered, as he had much to do with how the organization is now, and hopefully will run in the future. John, you will be missed.

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Sco will be missed. He is the guy who got me to be staff along with Mark Pope back in '97. If it were not for the support of Sco the Game Room would not be the awesome event is it today. He was a solid guy and I am sad to see him pass away at such a young age.

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Add me to the list of people saddened to hear of Sco's passing. I wasn't that well acquainted with him-- I joined Staff about the time that Sco was dropping out, but I had run into him a number of times in years prior, when Otakon was a lot smaller. He always struck me as rather ill-tempered and cranky, but I think that's true of all of us at-Con. :)

Yeah, it's scary when someone that young falls deathly ill like Sco did. (I'm 48, and while I don't hear the wing-beats of the Angel of Death, I also know I'm not 22 anymore.) All you can do is toast his memory, and hope to do as well as he did at the end, to be surrounded by family and friends at the last.

Godspeed, John.

Hale Adams

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I had pretty much fallen out of touch with Sco, which made news of his death a shock to me: I hadn't even known he was sick.

I was able to go to the memorial service, though. It was a good service, positive despite everything, and there were at least 300 people there. Sco got a good send-off.

His family has asked that donations be sent to Stand Up to Cancer.

Sincerely,

Jon Acheson

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I remember Cousin Sue introducing me to Sco when I was her assistant in staffing in 2005 during Otakon. He and I had a nice chat about how Otakon had evolved from when he was con chair to that point. I had a chance to have a few email exchanges with him while I was Chief of Staff in 2006 and he was always very pleasant to correspond with. I admired him for standing up for his beliefs during one staff meeting he had attended when there was a heated debate. While I didn't agree with his stance, I respected him for never backing down from what he had to say.

We lost a very admirable person in the Otakon family. While I did not get to know Sco as closely as other staffers have, I am glad I had the chance to meet him.

My condolences to his family and close friends. Rest in Peace Sco.

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My thoughts and condolences go out to the family during this sad time.

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thoughts and prayers go to the Scofield family and extended family. :[

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Sco ran Gophers way back in '96, my first year with Otakon. Later, when I was a staffer, he was always enjoyable to be around and always willing to listen to ideas. He brought heart and soul to Otakon, and will be missed.

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