Eulogy for Carolyn Scurato

 

Everyone gathered here this morning is a member of a very special community for we all have been touched, inspired, and enriched by Carolyn Elaine Scurato. Today, therefore, is a day of profound sadness for it is wrenching to say goodbye to one so dear, to one with whom we each have had our precious history. As a daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, drama director, artist, and friend, she showed us the beauty of commitment, that true happiness, in the words of John F. Kennedy, " is the full use of your powers along the lines of excellence." To know Carolyn was to know someone who demanded all of herself in every phase of her life. In the truest manner, therefore, she was by example, a teacher for us all.

 

Some years ago Carolyn directed Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue at Country Gate. At the end of the play there is a very funny scene where snow is supposed to be falling outside a window. Through the weeks of rehearsal, however, we could not find a substance that looked like snow coming down on the stage. We tried almost everything: sugar, baby powder, rice, chopped up paper. From where Carolyn was sitting out in the theatre, though, nothing was convincing enough. In the last week before opening night someone finally decided to try oatmeal flakes and I remember Carolyn's voice calling out from the dark, " That's it! That's it! We have our snow!" Now, I will confess that the chopped up paper had looked good enough to me but Carolyn's insistence that we keep trying other alternatives was a microcosm of what it was like to work with her. For Carolyn, close enough was never good enough. Think of that same insistence on accuracy permeating the hundreds of plays she directed over the twenty-six years of Country Gate and you can well understand the enormous contribution she made to the theatrical life of our area.

 

For her students at the Warren County School of the Arts, Carolyn proved that teaching can be a noble profession as she made learning something to cherish and celebrate. Her classes were adventures in discovery and her own intensity led her students to search the deepest parts of themselves to find what is beautiful and take that to an even higher plane. She helped them, through the craft of theatre, touch the triumphs and tragedies of the human condition, teaching them the essence of Robert Browning's challenge that " A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

 

Most importantly, Carolyn lived the daily blessing of being a devoted wife and mother. We know how brightly the fire of love glowed in the Scurato house and, in a time when the media tries to suggest that words like family and commitment are out of fashion, one look into the home at 9 Meadow Run Road would convince anyone that living from the heart is the greatest gift of all. We know how deeply Carolyn cared for her family and we know how painful her passing must be for them. For Bill, Chelsea, and Gina and all of Carolyn's relatives: you are in our prayers now and always. May God bless you and may He put His loving arms around you at this difficult time.

 

Carolyn was a woman who played many roles upon the stage of life. Rembert Weakland writes, "If we are alive, we are continually falling in love." When we chronicle her rich, varied, and fruitful life, we see that in all of her many endeavors Carolyn showed that love was her motivation and now for all of us, it will be her legacy. Today we join together to thank God for the life of Carolyn Elaine Scurato.

 

May she stand among the stars

May she sail with the sun

May she live in the Light

She's at rest now

her work is done.

She's at rest now

Her work is done.

 

 

 

 

Edwin Romond

May 8, 1998