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Scott E. Crom

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Scott E. Crom

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2013 4:00 pm

Scott E. Crom, 85, of Beloit, WI, died Thursday, August 1, 2013, at Beloit Memorial Hospital.

He was born December 9, 1927 in Grand Junction, CO, the son of Walter R. and Helen (Palmquist) Crom. Walter, a WWI veteran, died when Scott was a young child and he was raised by his mother. Scott was a graduate of Red Oak High School in Red Oak, IA. He then attended Grinnell College where he met Nancy Eymann. Scott graduated from Grinnell, with a major in Mathematics, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Scott married Nancy Eymann on September 8, 1949 in Hartford, CT. Scott received his Ph.D from Yale University and also taught there from 1952 to 1954. 

Scott and his family moved to Beloit in 1954 when Scott joined the Philosophy and Religion Department of Beloit College. During his long tenure at Beloit College, Scott inspired generations of students to become critical, careful thinkers who knew how to “say what you mean, and mean what you say.” His standards were famously high, and he was devoted to helping his students. To spare students the difficult task of reading his notoriously bad handwriting, Scott typed the notes he made on their term papers. Often, it was a full page of thoughtful comments. In class, he would dual process: writing one thing on the chalk board while saying another. You knew you were in the presence of someone who operated on higher, multiple planes. He inspired you to do better. The students elected Scott Teacher of the year three times. He was the first holder of the Gayle and William Keefer Chair in the Humanities. Scott retired in 1993. He became an Emeritus Professor and an honorary member of the Beloit College Alumni Association.

Scott was humble about his many achievements, which included several Pendle Hill pamphlets and articles in Friends Journal. Scott and Nancy were active in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Quaker Meeting was (as is) held in their home in Beloit. They were tireless advocates for peace and social justice. A peace garden on the college campus, dedicated to them, is a testimony to their work. Nancy died on November 5, 1992.

Long before most people had heard of the internet or the World Wide Web, Scott was active in chat rooms, email lists and user groups. He was an early user of computers in the classroom, writing the programs himself. 

 Survivors include his two daughters, Kathryn (Richard, deceased) Holmes of Milton, WI, Elizabeth Crom of Madison, WI; one son, Steven (Nike Beckman) Crom of New York City, NY; two grandchildren, Anne Maraike Crom and Sarah Lina Crom both of New York City, NY.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests sending donations to the Scott and Nancy Crom Scholarship for Peace and Social Justice at Pendle Hill (care of Jennifer Karsten, 338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA, 19086).

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements.

 Online condolences may be sent to the family at 

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