When someone dies at the age of 53, it seems too soon. And when that person had to bury their 15-year-old son seven and half years earlier, that seems way too soon.
Pastor Earl Bradshaw from Mill Grove Methodist Church mentioned this in his comments at Scott Elam’s memorial service July 10 at Indian Trail First Baptist Church.
Scott died July 3 from complications following heart surgery.
It seems like the whole community knew him and showed up at the service. That’s the beauty of a small town like Stallings, where Scott lived. It seems that everybody knows everybody. Scott was a small town type guy who spoke to everyone and was willing to help out when anybody needed it. He used to say of himself, “I’m the nicest guy you ever want to meet.”
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Many would agree.
Joe Rick, a friend and neighbor of the Elams, spoke at the funeral. “He had many friends,” Rick said. “And never knew a stranger.”
The Stallings community, including Hometown Heroes, has rallied to support the Elam family, which includes Scott’s wife, Anita, and their 21-year-old daughter, Brooke.
Hometown Heroes, a nonprofit organization that helps kids with terminal illnesses and their families, provided support when Brandon, a teenager, died of a brain tumor. This group, who drive motorcycles, do fundraising through rides and other events. And often they provide escorts to schools, services and events.
They were at Scott Elam’s funeral and lead the procession to the burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Weddington.
Mike Baucom, a Hometown Heroes trustee, was in the procession.
“Last September we were having our Hometown Heroes Kick Off and were taking a few special children to school. I saw Scott Elam sitting in his car with his window down allowing him to hear the Hometown presentation that included a very moving speech by a young couple that had recently lost their young daughter to cancer,” Baucom said.
“I approached Scott’s window and greeted Scott. His reply to me with tears in his eyes, was ‘Mike, I can’t get out.’ I told him there was no need. You’re here and that’s enough. He then said how much he, Anita and Brooke loved Hometown Heroes. I said, ‘we love you too.’”
Scott Elam was born on Feb. 26, 1962 and grew up in east Charlotte in the Hampshire Hills neighborhood. Many of his classmates from Garinger High School in Charlotte showed up to pay last respects. A video shown during the service showed him in his high school graduation gown, among other photos from his childhood and with his family. He played many sports during his lifetime and coached his daughter’s softball teams and son’s baseball teams. Elam worked for Sell Ethics in Matthews and was well known in the food and grocery business.
“Scott Elam ... the kindest, most caring, gentle, easy going, lovable man blessed us richly just by being himself. Our mind cannot comprehend how one family’s heartache can be multiplied now by two with Scott’s passing,” said Kim Bellinghausen, a friend of the family. “Our last hugs were the night before Scott’s surgery. Scott’s voice saying, ‘Love you more’ will forever be in our thoughts.”
Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer. Have a story for Kim? Email her her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to help?
To help with medical expenses, a Go Fund Me account has been set up: www.gofundme.com/scottelam.