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Author Topic: Scott Deatherage  (Read 97558 times)
SherryHall
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« Reply #150 on: January 18, 2010, 02:40:33 PM »

 From Steven Deatherage:

  The Deatherage family finished up a wonderful day together. This day we celebrated our beloved Scott. We shared fond memories of him.

After the Houston memorial service we went to my parent's house (Michael and Emma Deatherage). There, we enjoyed eachothers company. We also renewed our collective commitment to continue getting together annualy for reunions. We enjoyed watching the DVD of Scott's '09 Northwestern debate speech.

I enjoyed hearing family stories and getting to better know my family members.

Jessica and I look forward to our upcoming visit to Chicago to take part in the next memorial service. Personally, I feel honored to be related to someone who made such a difference in so many people's lives.

More importantly I look forward to continue to spend more time with our family.

Steven
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SherryHall
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« Reply #151 on: January 18, 2010, 10:33:48 PM »

From Sean McCaffity:

I have no words really. I have been and continue to struggle with all of our collective loss. I miss him terribly. I have kept my comments up to now brief and direct to Scott. Letting him know that I love him and such.

I had the great honor and privilege of being asked to speak at Duck's memorial service in Houston this past Saturday. For those of you that were there, you know that I did not make it through my comments without tearing up. Well, that's an understatement. I broke down numerous times and struggled to finish. But I managed to hit the highlights of my prepared remarks.

After talking with Scott's family before and after the service, it was self-evident that they have truly enjoyed seeing all the posts, comments, and notes about Duck on the internet. They have taken a true measure of joy and pride in knowing the scope and impact of Scott on so many young lives across the country. So, I thought it made sense for me to post my prepared remarks for everyone, including Scott's family. I have never given a speech at a memorial service or a eulogy of any sort. It was incredibly difficult. I managed to choke out the highlights from this speech, but here is what I intended to say had I had been able to hold back the waterworks. Of course, all that really matters is that Duck knows that I loved him and did my very best to honor him. Here it is:

"My name is Sean McCaffity. I am from Garland, Texas and I debated at Northwestern University for Scott “Duck” Deatherage from 1992 through 1996. I had the good fortune of being coached to two national championships by Duck. Before my last debate during my senior year in 1996, I spent some time thinking not about the debate to occur (it was a new case, so there was not much to prepare for anyway), but reflecting on my time with Duck. I scratched out a handwritten note and right before the first speech started, I slipped him the note and told him to not read it until after this debate began. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote on that note and I don’t know where it is now. I know he kept it for a long time because I saw it in his office on a trip back to Evanston several years later. But it said something like this, “Duck, you have meant so very much to me. For the past four years, you have been nothing short of the college version of my father, brother and best friend. You are more than an educator. You are my dear friend. Thanks.” It was short, simple and to the point.

I first met Scott in the summer of 1991. Actually, I probably met him some time before that but my memory is hazy. I do remember as a near-high school senior that summer that I was being taught by greatness. My first true memories of Scott come from that summer. From the get go we hit it off. I felt a special bond with Duck from the very beginning. I don’t know what it was. We both were from Texas? We both loved the Cowboys? We both believed that presence, style and ethos were so very important to winning debate at the highest levels? I don’t know. I just know that for several weeks that we got along well and I think he enjoyed coaching me as much as I enjoyed working for him.

Scott kept up with me through my senior year in high school. He would write long single spaced recruiting letters to me and my partner, Chris Cotropia. He’d follow us from tournament to tournament across the country, trying to convince us to go to Northwestern. He came and visited my parents and talked to them whenever he could about the virtues of Northwestern. He was persistent and meticulous in his approach to recruiting. Once I was admitted to Northwestern he personally worked with financial aid at the University to make it as easy as possible for us to afford the school.

Scott succeeded in his recruiting that year just like he succeeded at everything else he did. In 1992, Northwestern had a bumper crop of talented freshman joining the ranks of the Debate Society. Sinan Aral, Jody “Joe” Terry, Chris Cotropia, Brian Lai, Brian Fletcher, Mason Miller and myself were just some of the stellar debaters that ended up at NU. It was the beginning of a run of college debate dominance like no other. I don’t want to re-plow the same ground here though. Everyone knows of Scott’s debate excellence and his brilliant mind. He was simply the best debate coach ever. Between Duck’s brilliant mind, dedicated work ethic, and soul-charging inspirational speeches, success was a foregone conclusion. But ultimate success came because of Duck’s human and intimate interactions with his debaters. What I recall most from my time with Duck is the sincere satisfaction he received from the moments of humanity he would share with his debaters. Despite Scott’s personality quirks and odd interpersonal communication skills, from my perspective it was the human elements where Scott touched my life. I recall three significant moments that I want to share that demonstrate the values Scott taught me in the beginning of my adult life at Northwestern.

In the late summer of 1992, I was a newly graduated senior about to join Northwestern University as a freshman. The Debate Society has a two to three week camp before school actually begins called the Rogers House. During the Rogers House the debate team meets, greets, brainstorms and researches the upcoming year’s topic. I arrived at campus ready for the Rogers House in 1992 with my parents and my little brother, Jamieson. We had driven from Texas because we couldn’t afford the airfare and, frankly, I don’t think my mom could afford the “tarmac farewell” from DFW. But as my parents were preparing to depart for home the following day, Duck received a call. I will never forget seeing him sprinting across the campus grounds to get to my parents to tell them to call back home. My Dad’s mother had passed away. My parents and brother would have to leave immediately to go back to Texas for the funeral. My parents were great, as usual. They told me it was my choice: I could either stay or I could go home and fly back. I knew we couldn’t afford the airfare. They knew I would miss the first part of the Rogers House. I made a choice and decided to stay in Evanston. My parents left and I was so very sad. Besides being homesick, I had just lost my grandmother. Duck did not miss a beat. He immediately told me to come with him to get a diet coke. A drink he constantly referred to as “the nectar of the Gods.” We went and got that coke and spent the rest of the day together. Just he and I. He was genuinely concerned and caring for me. He reached out and comforted me at a moment when I really needed it. The next day he saw me, pulled me aside and told me he would pay for the airfare home. I couldn’t take his money and told him no. I so very much appreciated his time and his generous offer. Duck taught me so very much about compassion and caring on the first two days of my life on campus. It didn’t stop, obviously. But Duck’s sincere and deep, abiding care for his students was real. Duck’s commitment to compassion was singular.

Flash forward four years later. Before the first debate tournament of my senior year and at the conclusion of the Rogers House my senior year, Duck came up to me and pulled me into his office. Duck had yet again been on the recruiting trail and he had found a number of new, talented and fun students to carry the NU program for years. Well, that is an understatement actually. Duck had recruited Michael Gottlieb from Kansas and he was quickly learning how to share his talents with the debate world. In any event, Duck pulled me aside and we chatted for a long time about Mike and the other freshman and sophomores that were going to be the future. I recall clearly his words, “I don’t know what I did, but I must be doing something right. You took these guys under your wing like I took you under mine. It’s all about team, Sean, and you have nailed it this year. I am so proud of you.” Duck may not have known what he did, but he was right (as usual). He constantly preached on the value of teamwork. Success in any endeavor does not come with solitary effort. Scott knew this and despite the success that Jody and I shared the previous two years, he would constantly remind us that it was the team that made it possible. Scott would share our successes with the team and would constantly encourage us to do the same. We would ride back from the airport after winning the NDT as a champion squad in an armada of limos. It was a team victory. Scott would repeat that to everyone that would listen. Scott probably didn’t do one thing that taught me the value of teamwork. He lived it. He forced people to learn about the value of hard work and teamwork through osmosis. Just being near Scott caused people to learn what it meant to be on a team. Scott was an amazing leader because he understood the value of having a team to lead.

I kept up with Scott after I graduated in 1996, of course. He was such a good friend. But I recall in 2002 when my first daughter, Alex, was born, I called Scott to tell him the news. His words meant so very much to me. “Sean, I am so very proud of you and the man you’ve become. You’re gonna be a great dad.” For those of you that know Scott, you know that carrying on phone conversations with the man can be difficult at best. For all his virtues, being a simple conversationalist is not one. But on this occasion his pride was evident. His voice was beaming through the phone. I was so happy. I don’t know what value that teaches. Nothing in particular, probably. But it just meant so very much to me. People from all across the country have expressed the important and influential role Scott had in their lives. To me, the mark of influence in one’s life is how you act or react around that person. For those truly transcendent influences, you don’t want to disappoint them and you strive to make them proud. That was Scott for me. Like my parents, I never wanted to disappoint and I always wanted to share my accomplishments with him to make him proud. I know there are others that feel the same.

Scott was a great man. He was brilliant and he was caring. His depth of compassion and loyalty are unmatched in my experience. He was my friend. A dear, dear friend. Like I told him before my last debate: he was like a father, brother and best friend rolled into one.

Thanks for sharing your life with me, Scott. Thank you to his family for giving me the honor of sharing my thoughts with each of you."

I have tagged some people to the side because I have no way of knowing if I will be able to figure out how to post this to either CEDA website or the Facebook group. I'm going to try. But if one of you knows how to do that, please feel free.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #152 on: January 31, 2010, 08:52:51 AM »

From Kevin Hamrick:

When I arrived in Evanston in the fall of 1991, Duck had been Director of the Hardy House for less than a year but he nonethless already had a plan to win to win the NDT - not just one time someday in the future, but EVERY YEAR. I'd say that overall it turned out to be a pretty good plan. Duck played to win and made ...no apologies for it. He dared us all to try be the BEST. It was an honor.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #153 on: January 31, 2010, 08:53:59 AM »

From Chris Martin:

is round-tripping Houston to Chicago and back today for the memorial service of a dear friend and former college debate coach. Is a great reminder that God made us relational so invest as much time as possible with your friends and family, life is fragile so live every day to make a difference in the lives of others, a...nd when it's 10 degrees outside take your coat AND gloves with you to the service. Smiley

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SherryHall
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« Reply #154 on: January 31, 2010, 08:57:11 AM »

From : Hajir Ardebili

My thoughts are with those in Evanston who are celebrating the life of Scott Deatherage today. ♥ I was going to add "remembering," but I know we all recognize that the Duck's love for his debaters and friends, and his contributions to debate, will be impossible to forget.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #155 on: January 31, 2010, 08:58:56 AM »

From Josh Hoe:

Incredible eulogies, amazing turn-out, well-planned, and an A+ job doing an incredibly hard job helping us celebrate/remember a legend led by Chris Lundberg and LT. We all love you Duck!
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SherryHall
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« Reply #156 on: January 31, 2010, 08:59:24 AM »

From Marie Dzuris:

Although sad, it was a wonderful uplifting celebration of Scott's life. Thanks to all who participated in putting it together and those who spoke.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #157 on: January 31, 2010, 09:00:18 AM »

From Steve Mancuso:

Just back to Ohio after Scott's memorial ceremony. Hat tip to Chris Lundberg who pulled off a tremendous service. The eulogies were memorable. Only one mention of Whitesnake, though, way below the Vegas over/under line of 6. I really enjoyed seeing so many of the NU debate alum. Although I wish someone would explain to... me the difference between "commitment" and "hard work" in the four traits of a winner. :-)
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stables
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« Reply #158 on: January 31, 2010, 04:23:51 PM »

Many thanks to all of the individuals who contributed materials to this tribute.

* In Recognition Larry Scott Deatherage.pdf (104.09 KB - downloaded 837 times.)
* In Recognition Larry Scott Deatherage - Submissions.pdf (292.33 KB - downloaded 806 times.)
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Gordon Stables
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
SherryHall
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« Reply #159 on: February 01, 2010, 01:30:20 PM »

Lyn Robbins:  Link to his eulogy for Scott which was too long to post here in its entirety.

http://www.wlrjr.blogspot.com/

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SherryHall
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« Reply #160 on: February 01, 2010, 01:31:40 PM »

From Luke Hill:

 Bittersweet but wonderful weekend. Thankful I got to say goodbye to Duck with so many great people. Thankful I got a Saints jersey from the best friends in the world. Thankful my great debaters subsidized the sweetest phone ever. And most of all thankful I get to wake up and work at the Hardy house every day. Missing Duck, but working on my assignment.
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SherryHall
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« Reply #161 on: February 01, 2010, 01:34:31 PM »

From LaTonya Starks:

What an amazing weekend -- epic, some might say. Thanks to everyone who came to Duck's memorial and to all those who sent well-wishes from afar. It was fantastic to see you all. Somewhere, Duck is smiling down on us, thankful that so many members of his family could come together. I love you all :-)
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SherryHall
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« Reply #162 on: February 01, 2010, 01:35:58 PM »

From Jairus Grove:

I sang Whitesnake like I meant it without a shred of irony. There was a sense of loss but it was tempered by gratitude for the Duck. In the end old friends helped keep the ghosts in good spirits and it was a grand send off for a great man.
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