Bill passed peacefully at home on Saturday, February 26, 2022. Most knew Bill as a conversationalist with incredible recall and a quick wit. He was a teacher, mentor, and an excellent cook.
He was born at Yale New Haven Hospital to Alfred and Lucille Scala, the second youngest of four children. The house was a lively merge of immigrant Italian cuisine and Maryland family practicality. He distinguished himself as an excellent student with an aptitude for speed reading and comprehension, first at the Helen Street School, then at Hamden High, where he graduated in the spring of 1958. Bill began college at the University of Connecticut that fall, where he joined Delta Chi Fraternity. He met Susan Starr, his future wife and partner for life. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Minor in Philosophy. Bill enlisted with the U.S. Army Reserves while at UConn in 1962 and was honorably discharged in 1968.
His first job was with Liberty Mutual in Washington D.C. They married that year and Susan had son Christopher. A year and a half later, Bill landed a sales position with Carpenter Steel which moved the family to Foxboro MA, where daughter Julie was born. After four years in Massachusetts, a client company of Bill’s named Sinclair Machine Products made him an offer and the Scalas moved to Claremont, NH.
The young couple immersed themselves in the community, building relationships at the Moody and Pleasant Restaurants. Bill became active in the Indian Guides (Adventure Guides) and Sue in the Brownies while both kids attended Maple Avenue School. Bill coached Claremont Flyers Ice Hockey teams for the next several years.
He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, serving as President for two terms, while also active with other local and national business associations. They volunteered for many community events, including the Claremont triathlons.Their other hobbies included, racquetball, tennis, arm wrestling, pool. He was a self-proclaimed trivial pursuit champion as well as an unofficial historian of local gunsmiths and manufacturers. Bill and Sue were grateful to their amazing circle of friends! The many ski outings, fishing and hunting trips created memories which provided entertainment for decades.
In 1980, Bill began the Oakley Boxing Club, named for friend Maurice Oakley, who funded the endeavor. The team practiced in the basement of the old Community Center and had a few “Smokers” with a sister club from Rutland, VT, led by Tommy Garrow. The most notable fighters of the Oakley club were Dale Pearson and Ed Farris, who both competed in the Vermont Golden Gloves. Ed went on to revive the club when his own children were old enough to Box, and has coached over 50 young area Boxers to victory at the Golden Gloves. He is still involved at the professional level, representing WBO Middleweight Champ, Demetrius Andrade. Bill was Ed’s biggest fan.
Bill Scala retired from Sinclair in 2000, after more than 30 years with the company. He was thankful to all of the talented people he worked with over the years for their loyalty and dedication to keep the company prosperous.
Bill and Susan enjoyed golf and were members of the Claremont Country Club. He was a devoted fan of the UConn Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs. He most recently served on the Board of Trustees of the Fiske Free Library.
He was predeceased by wife Susan on July 16, 2021. He is survived by: Brother Chuck in Churchton, MD; Brother Fred and Son Chris in Fallbrook, CA; and Daughter Julie in Claremont.
No service is scheduled at this time. Burial to be announced later. In lieu of flowers, he would wish that any contributions be donated to the Fiske Free Library.
The Stringer Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
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