Tidings Of Comfort & Joy

Scott Paddack as Santa

Volunteer Scott Paddack brought good cheer to everyone he met.

By Kate Rader

William Shakespeare said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Anyone who knew Scott Paddack would likely say he’d have agreed. The 1980 North Hagerstown High School and Frostburg State graduate found his joy in giving back to others—particularly area youth—through music, entertaining, and service.

After bouts with pneumonia, the father of three passed away unexpectedly in August. Perusing Facebook, it’s easy to see how deeply Scott impacted people’s lives. An active member of the Antietam Exchange Club, Trinity Lutheran Church, Masonic Friendship Lodge, Hub City Ravens Roost, Scottish Rite Club, and North High Athletic Boosters, (to name a few) Scott’s contributions will be sorely missed.

“Our dad was the dad that showed up to all of our events, shows, and fundraisers, camera in hand,” Scott’s son Daved Paddack recalls. “When you needed him, he was there. That didn’t go just for his family, but for anyone. If you needed something he could provide, he would show up.”

Brittany Jordan, Scott’s eldest daughter agrees. “He enjoyed bringing happiness and good times to everyone.” During college, he began as a DJ at parties, earning him the nickname, “Crazy Scott.” Later, he DJ-ed his kids’ school dances; then private events and weddings. Daved recalls his dad’s love for music. “It was ’70s and ’80s rock all day long. He loved to work with area bands. I found his Kix shirt—it even had his name stitched inside.”

Scott volunteered his talent behind the mic for local events too, announcing football games for the Washington County Junior Football League and emceeing the “Salute to Independence” at the Antietam National Battlefield. His daughter Alex remembers how her dad’s sense of humor stood out. “While announcing games, he got to make jokes and be creative with his voice.”

While Scott thoroughly enjoyed entertaining people, his chief passion was helping youth—working for the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America for almost 20 years, most recently as a field director. Daved says that Scott, “wanted to make sure kids had a place to go after school that was a safe environment and where they could learn something. Dad wanted to make a change in this world and he saw that change in scouting. Go outdoors, go fishing, have fun. Go be a good person and enjoy cheerful service and give back.”

What may be Scott’s most beloved role, however, included a red suit and a fur-trimmed hat. He first appeared as Santa at family reunions. “He loved how our eyes would light up when we saw him,” Alex says. “It started as a cheap costume and then he worked all year to grow his beard and had a custom Santa suit made.” Scott became known for his authentic look, jovial demeanor, and powerful ability to raise money for children. For more than 30 years he championed Christmas tree sales for the Boy Scouts and brought joy through the Antietam Exchange Club’s annual children’s Christmas party.

Daved sums up how his dad’s passion for people resonated throughout his life. “That was him not just as Santa but in life. He made you truly believe in the magic of Christmas.”

Opening photo: Scott Paddack’s Santa Claus Brought joy to children year after year. Photo by Mark Youngblood. 

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