Scouts from the Theodore Roosevelt Council Boy Scouts of America are mourning the passing of two local scouting legends—Justice Antonin Scalia and Msgr. Thomas J. Hartman—both of whom are long-time avid supporters and friends of the Nassau County, Long Island-based Council.
“We are saddened by the passing of two nationally prominent individuals, who always maintained their close support and friendship of the girl and boy scouts in our council,” said TRC president Steven M. Grosskopf. “Their long-time kindness and dedication to the Nassau County Boy Scouting program is something that will remain with us forever.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia, who passed away on Feb. 13, was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and member of BSA’s Order of the Arrow National Honor Society. His mother, Catherine, served as a Cub Scout Den Mother during Scalia’s boyhood in Queens. In later years, Catherine moved to nearby Baldwin where her son visited her frequently.
Becoming closely associated with the TRC, he generously donated time and financial support to BSA’s TRC, attending many of its annual dinners with mom at his side. At one such dinner, the council made him its honoree and presented Scalia with BSA’s coveted Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
Msgr. Hartman, the nationally syndicated co-columnist, author and TV personality of the “God Squad” with his long-time friend, Rabbi Marc Gellman, passed away Feb. 16, after a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease. Like Scalia, Msgr. Hartman was a long-time supporter and friend of TRC’s scouting programs and was a strong presence at the council’s summer camps, weekend camporees and special events.
“For over four decades, beginning with his first assignment as a priest, at nearby St. James R.C. Church in Seaford, the Rev. Msgr. Tom Hartman was a key member of our scouting community and we miss his cheerful, handsome smile, gleaming eyes and wonderful, inspirational personality,” said Grosskopf. “Both he and Justice Scalia remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.”