Eagle Scout helps the grieving

By Melissa Williams Brown
Contributing Writer

IRWIN — Scouting has always been a major part of 14-year-old Scotty Clark’s life. His father, Scott Clark, was his den leader and is now his scoutmaster, and his late grandfather, Ellsworth “Buddy” Clark, was always there to assist.

When Scotty was 9, his grandfather died, and friends gave him poems and Bible verses to help him deal with his grief. He returned the favor when a friend of his mother, Kimberly, lost her mother and when his cousin’s dog died, making cards for them to help soften the blow.

“They really appreciated it. It seemed like the best thing I could do for them. Knowing someone cares about you helps,” he said.

Scotty is a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Parish, receiving the sacrament of confirmation April 25, and will be a ninth-grader at Penn Middle School near Jeannette. His siblings, Nicholas and Emily, are also Scouts.

A Scout in Troop 239 in Claridge, Scotty decided that for his Eagle Scout project, he would continue helping people dealing with grief. He constructed a rack for pamphlets about grief that now stands in his parish’s cemetery chapel.

He also took on a major initiative to add GPS coordinates in the Find a Grave app to help people find loved ones buried at the cemetery. He enlisted 35 volunteers to work with him and was able to add coordinates for more than 2,200 graves. 

Father John A. Moineau, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, has known Scotty since his birth and has watched him grow into a “fine Catholic young man.”

“The sensitivity that he shows for those who grieve the death of their loved ones is reflected in the project at the cemetery,” Father Moineau said. “Providing spiritual quotes in his pamphlet rack and working on a way for graves to be located will aid so many today and into the future.”


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