Public memorial held for Michael Scott

November 22, 2009 8:28:39 PM PST
A public memorial Sunday celebrated the life of Michael Scott. There was an emotional outpouring of memories for the Chicago Board of Education president who died last week.Scott's body was found Monday. He died of a gunshot wound to the head. The Cook County medical examiner has ruled the death a suicide.

Sunday, the concert choir from Whitney Young High School kicked off the tribute for the man who spent much of his career trying to improve the lives of Chicago Public School students.

Michael Scott's life was celebrated by a variety of Chicagoans who were touched by him in many ways.

"He could listen to everybody's side of an issue and try and bring some clarity," said U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago.

"He was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things," said ABC7 Chicago's Cheryl Burton.

"Michael Scott was referred to as a go-to guy," said Ald. Sharon Dixon of the city's 24th Ward.

Scott considered his years at the Chicago Park District and Board of Education as his most notable civic contributions. Those who worked with him say he was known for his calmness and his ability to listen to all sides. my brief working relationship with michael taught me no challenge is too hard to overcome," said Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman.

"He has sat at the table heard the cries and the pleas of parents, and he has advocated that their voices be heard," parent Stella Mason said.

In a moving video tribute shown to those attending the service, Scott himself explains his success in getting things done.

"If you are a person of self discipline, you have to hold things within," he said in the video.

Scott fought for the kids of Chicago while raising his own children, Monique and Michael Jr. Sunday, they spoke publicly for the first time since their father's death.

"The sympathy is really, really nice, but, at this point, losing our mother and father in five months, we need prayer," said Monique Scott.

Despite their grief, the Scott children brought some humor and very personal memories to Sunday's service.

"I would call dad anytime and say, 'Hey Dad, what's a hot new restaurant?' or 'Hey Dad, my sink is leaking,'" Monique Scott said.

"He would fix her sink when she would call, but with me, it was more of a tough love kind of thing. If he was Superman, he was preparing to make me Superboy," said Michael Scott Jr.

The public service for Michael Scott closed with a song from the Soul Children of Chicago choir.


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