Dr. Richard Wilcher Scroggs, 70, of Swansboro, passed away peacefully Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, at his home.

His celebration of life service is at 11 a.m. Saturday at Swansboro United Methodist Church with Pastor Kevin Baker officiating. For those who cannot attend, you will be able to view the service at the church website, swansboroumc.org/.

He was born Feb. 24, 1950, in Washington, D.C., a son to the late Ralph Talley and Geraldine Frances Wilcher Scroggs.

Rick was a historian, lifelong teacher and school principal and loved his family, his church, his boat, his creekside home and his Tennessee Vols, in that order. Rick received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee in 1972, promptly married Deanna and then they moved together to Swansboro, where he could satisfy life’s necessities, surfing and gainful employment. He taught in Onslow County Schools for three years before becoming a teacher on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where he had a distinguished, 32-year career spanning multiple schools, grade levels and administrative positions. He also obtained two master’s degrees from East Carolina University, one in history and one in education, and completed his doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, obtaining his Doctorate of Education in 1989.

Supporting family was Rick’s paramount priority always, which meant long hours of side jobs to supplement a teacher’s income, including first mate on the fishing charter boat, the Nancy Lee, coaching high school sports, brief stints in insurance and real estate and as captain of Tally-Ho fishing charters.

He was a proud member of Friends of the Oyster, founded by Greg Fitzpatrick of Bear Creek, and a passionate contributor to the Letters to the Editor section of the Tideland News. He testified on numerous occasions before the N.C. Department of Marine Fisheries in support of legislation to protect recreational fisheries on the N.C. coast and enjoyed meetings of the Cape Lookout Flyfishers Club. He was humbled to be asked to be a founding member of the Beacon Service at Swansboro United Methodist Church, the first contemporary service to be offered to the congregation. He was an avid reader, football fan and devout Methodist.

He was a generous grandfather who shared his love of fishing and reading with his grandchildren. He did not let an occasion pass to inquire about their schooling, passions and how many push-ups they were doing each day to stay healthy.  

He is survived by his wife, Deanna Hollingsworth Scroggs; daughter, Talley Hollings-Scroggs Kovacs and husband Dr. Louis Kovacs of Baltimore, Md.; grandchildren, Wyatt River Kovacs and Fiona Marais Kovacs; sister, Paddy Anderson of Connecticut; and brother, Lanny Scroggs of Garner. He is also survived by devoted friend and fishing partner, Chuck Woodul; and ever present, feline companion Redfish.

He was preceded in death by a brother, J.P. Kraus.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Swansboro United Methodist Church, noting support for Dr. Scroggs’ beloved beacon service or to the church building fund, 665 West Corbett Ave., Swansboro, NC 28584 or online at swansboroumc.org/legacy-giving/; or to Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina online at ccanc.org/product/donate-ccanc/.

Arrangements are by Jones Funeral Home-Swansboro. Online condolences may be made to the family at jonesfh.org.

(Paid obituary)

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