William H. Scarborough
Navy veteran taught in Baltimore schools and later owned his own driver’s education business
William H. Scarborough, a Navy veteran severely injured in the1954 USS Bennington explosion who later ran his own driver’s education business for 30 years, died of pneumonia on Aug. 25 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The former Parkville resident was 84. “He had a very jubilant personality and always the life of the party. He was a gentleman, truly a good man,” said Jo Ann Scarborough, his wife of 53 years.
Mr. Scarborough was born at Mercy Hospital in 1932 to Henry Durkee Scarborough and Mable Goldsborough Scarborough.
He graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1950.
Frank Galeone, who went to Poly with Mr. Scarborough, described his longtime friend as “always low key.”
He recalled their first trip to Ocean City after high school. Neither had been to the ocean.
On the way back, he said, another man was driving his 1939 Plymouth and flipped the car, but none of the men were seriously injured. “I guess God said, ‘I will protect these four eight-balls,’ ” he said with a laugh. The group hitchhiked their way back from Delaware to Baltimore, he said.
After high school, Mr. Scarborough attended the Johns Hopkins University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Scarborough was an electrician’s mate with the rank of petty officer 3rd class aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bennington when a series of explosions killed 103 crewmen and injured more than 200 others in Narragansett Bay off Rhode Island.
Mrs. Scarborough said her husband suffered burns over his entire body and spent months recovering at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
After the Navy, Mrs. Scarborough said, her husband worked for Baltimore schools as a teacher and later as a procurement administrator.
Noel Durm, who grew up in Hamilton and now lives in Annapolis, said he and Mr. Scarborough used to go out to clubs together and on double-dates in their youth.
“He was a very outgoing guy. He was a very handsome man,” he said, describing how Mr. Scarborough could always get a date.
At one of the clubs they frequented, the Carousel club on Charles Street, Mr. Scarborough met his wife in 1959.
“He just walked up and asked meif I liked to dance,” she said. She said she told him, “Of course.” They married in 1963. Meeting in a nightclub, she said, “a lot of people would say our marriage would never last. But we had a lot in common and I think that carried us through. We communicated well.”
The same year, the couple had their only child, Elizabeth Scarborough.
In 1981, after having taught driver’s education for Baltimore schools, Mr. Scarborough decided to open his own business, B & E Driving School Inc., his wife said.
Mrs. Scarborough also worked at the business, teaching classes while her husband preferred being out on the road with students. “The students loved him. He would get right on the road with them. He didn’t have a fear of letting them take the wheel and drive,” she said.
Mr. Scarborough was a 32nd-Degree Mason member of the Scottish Rite, Boumi Temple, and a member of the Towson Elks. He was also a lifelong member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Fleet Reserve club, the American Legion and the USS Bennington Association.
In his free time, Mr. Scarborough enjoyed playing poker and traveling, and he was a Baltimore Colts and Orioles fan. He attended the annual CityPoly football game with friends.
Mrs. Scarborough said he was also very dedicated to his daughter. “They were extremely close. She talked every thing through with him. She was a daddy’s girl,” she said. They often played blackjack and poker together. She said her husband was also very close to his mother.
“He was a wonderful son, wonderful husband and father, and friend,” his wife said.
He donated his body to the Maryland Anatomy Board. Plans for a celebration of his life are incomplete.
In addition to his wife and daughter, who lives in Towson, Mr. Scarborough is survived by a cousin, Bud Hatfield of Brooklandville. William Scarborough opened B & E Driving School Inc. in 1981.