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Harry Van Scoy

Man wearing glasses

Harry Van Scoy

Harry Van Scoy was a leader. Many South High students have gone on to become leaders, but few have led like Harry Van Scoy. During a long and vibrant life of public service, Harry served as Mayor and Village Trustee of South Glens Falls, Fire Chief, transportation director for the South Glens Falls School District, and a mentor and friend to many as a longtime leader of Boy Scout Troop 9.

Born in South Glens Falls on March 5, 1932, Harry’s life centered on this community. Growing up on Jackson and then Wilson Avenues, Harry entered South High in the late 1940s. One day, head football Coach Lyle Gray saw Harry sitting watching practice, and suggested if he was going to be there, he might as well play – and play he did. Newspaper articles from 1948 to 1951 made frequent mention of Harry and his accomplishments with South High’s 6-man football team. Harry also played basketball for South High, and was a strong baseball player for the Bulldogs, helping them to the 1950 Saratoga County League Championship.

Prior to completing his senior year, Harry left South High and enlisted in the Army. He served two years, spending 16 months of that time in a combat zone in Korea. He was Honorably Discharged in August of 1954 with the rank of Sergeant E-5.

Returning from serving his country, Harry began working for the New York Telephone Company as a Cable Splicer. In 1974, he and his nephew formed Moreau Trucking, and he also found time to drive a bus for the South Glens Falls Central School District. Eventually he sold his business and became the Transportation Supervisor for the school district, retiring in 1994.

Harry joined the South Glens Falls Fire Company in 1954, holding various offices, including 12 years as Chief. He was active with the Department for more than 40 years.

He served as a South Glens Falls Village Trustee and Deputy Mayor for four years in the 1970s, and then was elected Mayor, serving for four years from 1980-84.

Other areas of community involvement included delivering meals for Meals on Wheels with the Moreau Community Center, serving as Chairman of the Town of Moreau Ethics Review Board, and Vice Chairman of the Moreau Community Center. He was a very proud and faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls.

Harry’s lifelong passion was the Boy Scouts. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 9 as a youth, and one day in 1967 when his son Bob was a member of that same troop, he was asked to fill in as Scoutmaster for a few months. Those few months turned into more than 40 years and more than 68 Eagle Scouts. Harry was dedicated to his Scouts, and he gave so much of himself to these young men. Whether taking the troop to Idaho in 1973 for the National Jamboree, or camping on the ice at Copeland Pond, many a young Boy Scout learned a lot about being a boy and growing into a man from Harry. Boy Scouts bestowed on Harry many honors, including two of its most prestigious – the Silver Beaver Award and the James E. West Fellowship Award.

He married Elizabeth Ann Cahill on May 27, 1956, at St. Mary’s Church in Glens Falls, N.Y.

Harry was the Grand Marshal in the Memorial Day parade in 2008. He was also involved with Moreau Community Center for many years and received the Citizen of the Year Award from the Rotary Club of South Glens Falls.

Harry was passionate about the outdoors and enjoyed his camp on Copeland Pond, where he loved to fish. He was also a member of the Spike Horn Hunting Club in North River, and the First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls. He passed away on Oct. 21, 2010.

Harry and Ann had three children: Robert, Karen, and Cheryl, along with six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.