James Scanlan

Born: Sat., Jan. 4, 1936
Died: Thu., Mar. 29, 2018

Memorial Mass

10:00 AM Tue., Apr. 03, 2018
Location: St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church

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Jim “Coach” Scanlan, age 82, passed away Thursday, March 29, 2018, after battling multiple ailments for the past 10 years.


Coach Scanlan was born January 4, 1936, at Firmin Desloge Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of the late Harry James Scanlan and Margaret “Hazel” (nee Burns).  He grew up in the city of St. Louis, was baptized at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, made his First Communion and was confirmed at St. Henry’s Church.  He graduated from St. Henry’s Grade School and McKinley High School where he participated in track and football.


After graduating from high school, Coach Scanlan attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Missouri.  His freshman year he had a scholarship in track where he threw the javelin and shot put.  During his next three years, his scholarship also included playing guard and tackle on the Bulldog football team.  He graduated with a major in education and a minor in industrial arts.  Coach remained at Northeast the next two years working as a graduate assistant in football, track, and physical education; serving as Dorm Daddy at the Bulldog Kennels; and completing his master degrees in physical education and administration.  Coach Scanlan dearly loved Northeast and credited his education there as the foundation of his successful career in education, coaching, and administration.  He continued his education throughout his career by taking additional classes and attending workshops, conventions, and conferences.  In 1988, he was in the first class of athletic administrators in the state of Missouri to pass the CAA exam and be designated a Certified Athletic Administrator.


Coach’s first year of teaching and coaching was at New Cambria High School in New Cambria, Missouri.  The next year he taught and coached at Brookfield High School in Brookfield, Missouri.


In 1963, Coach Scanlan was hired by the Washington School District.  During the next 35 years, he served the district in various capacities:  teaching elementary physical education during the summer, driving a school bus for the summer school students, working as a custodian during the summer, and teaching industrial arts, physical education, weight training, and drivers’ education at the secondary level.  He coached freshman and junior varsity boys’ basketball, was the head cross country and track coach, and began the football program in 1965.  As an active member of the Community Teachers’ Association, he served several years as president and as a member of the salary committee.  After retiring, he also taught drivers’ education for several summers.


Coach Scanlan taught classes at WHS from 1963-1986, coached various sports from 1963-1987, coached football from 1965-1987, served as Athletic Administrator from 1976-1986, served in a dual position as Athletic Administrator and Director of Student Activities/Assistant Principal from 1986-1996, and served as Assistant Principal form 1996-1998. 


Coach Scanlan was an active member of teacher, football, coaching, and athletic administration associations at the conference, district, state, and national levels.  Because of his dedication and service to these organizations, always striving to improve the fields of coaching and athletics, Coach received many awards and honors.  Being inducted into the Truman State Athletic Hall of Fame, being named to the Wings Hall of Honor, and having the new Washington Athletic Complex named Jim Scanlan Stadium were especially pleasing and rewarding.


Coach Scanlan was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather whose family adored him.  He taught his wife, daughters, and grandchildren how to fish and the family had great vacations at the Lake of the Ozarks fishing, swimming, playing cards, eating, and drinking.  They watched countless hours of sports in person and on TV, went on some great trips, and thoroughly enjoyed being together.  Coach had a green thumb and relished growing vegetables and flowers in his large garden.  He loved playing video poker and an annual trip to Las Vegas rejuvenated him.


He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Bonnie Kay (nee Westermeyer); three daughters:  Julie Ann (Brian) Weindel, Jayne Maureen (Wendy) Markum-Scanlan, and Janel Mary (Scott) Brown; four grandchildren:  James Weindel, Harrison Weindel, Madeleine Brown, and Jameson Brown; one sister and brother-in-law: Pat (Jack) Russell; one borther-in-law: Albert Shields; one sister-in-law: Mary (Roland) Kopp; one brother-in-law: Richard (Phyllis) Westermeyer; and nieces and nephews.  Other survivors include his college buddies, Bulldog teammates, and long-time loyal friends Coach John Carter and Coach Ray Eickmeyer, other relatives, many friends and colleagues in the field of athletics and education, many former students and athletes on whom he had a profound influence.


He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Hazel Scanlan; a sister Dorothy Sheilds; and his close high school, college, and life-long friend Clint Lessor.


A Memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 10:00 am at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church.


The family is grateful for the caring employees of Grandview Healthcare.  They offer a special thanks to Stephanie Davis who loved Coach dearly.  Above all, they are extremely grateful for Gary Hansel who cared for Coach for almost six years with exceptional dedication and love.


Memorials to Loving Hearts Outreach, School Backpack Program which feeds needy students over the weekends and summers would be deeply appreciated.  The address is 1902 West Main Street, Washington, Missouri  63090.

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   Posted Fri March 30, 2018
Jim was an exceptionally gifted coach . As Head FB Coach at his beloved NE MO. St. Bulldogs I had several of his players play for me and all were a credit to his coaching ability and character. In most instances you look at H.S. films of players before you recruit them, but if Jim said they could play, he was 100% correct. Amazing coach, husband and father. Easily one of the most respected coaches I ever met. He will be missed by all who knew him but what he taught will live on!

Linida Lessor Pahl
   Posted Fri March 30, 2018
May God bless your family as you face this tremendous loss. I am certain Jim and my father, Clint Lessor are playing football in heaven!

Stuart Macdonald
   Posted Sun April 01, 2018
Coach Scanlon was an inspiring mentor for me in many ways. At a time in my life when I needed strong male role models and support, being part of the Blue Jay Family & community was invaluable. Coach Scanlon (I'll never be able to call him Jim, even after 40 years) provided me with examples of integrity as a man and a teacher - a characteristic I took for granted at the time, and learned in the years since is not all that common and should never be taken for granted.

I remember being in the crowd at Rolla when he was absent for part of the State Championship game so he could be with Bonnie while their child was born. And he made it to the game in time to win! What a father and a coach - and a man!

He helped me and many others have invaluable experiences as we were boys growing to be men. It's impossible to quantify the impact of these gifts. The best legacy I can identify: He was a great teacher! a profession description that says so much and that can never be acknowledged enough.

Thank you, Coach Scanlon, for all your gifts to me, to your family and to your communities. RIP and may you continue to watch over and love all those who you have given to in the past decades.

Carl Hill
   Posted Sun April 01, 2018
As both a football and basketball official who had numerous opportunities to work for Coach Scanlan, I always appreciated his support and sense of humor.

I will always recall his sense of humor when I think back to officiating a football game at Washington vs. Owensville. As was required at the time, I advised Coach Scanlan that Owensville had a kicker with an artificial leg. His response, without missing a beat was, "Great, but I let a bunch of termites loose on the field this afternoon."

Whenever I officiate at Washington, I always think of that story and of Jim Scanlan. I believe the Lord broke the mold when he made Jim Scanlan.

Donna Dixon
   Posted Tue April 03, 2018
Dear Bonnie and family,
We were so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Tom and Donna Dixon