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March 31, 2015 > Lincoln Elementary bids farewell to an icon

Lincoln Elementary bids farewell to an icon

Submitted By John Angelo

This month, Lincoln Elementary in Newark bids farewell to a neighborhood hero. Scott Pace, Vietnam veteran, S.F. GiantsÕ #1 fan, and father of two former Lincoln Leopards, will be retiring from his twenty-five year career as LincolnÕs crossing guard.

During his long and dedicated tenure with the school, Pace was a readily identifiable icon of Lincoln pride, loyalty, and dedication. Every morning, he and his service dog, Sonia, would greet the students and their families as they approached the campus located at 36111 Bettencourt Street. With a booming, yet warm greeting, red STOP sign held at the ready in hand, Pace would pause traffic along the route, so children and families could safely cross the street to attend school.

In addition to helping with this basic, yet critical chore, Pace would pass out lollipops and treats to children, play in LincolnÕs annual sixth-grade versus Lincoln staff softball game, donate money to the classes, and purchase much-needed items that were posted on the office ÒGiving TreeÓ display for teachers and their classrooms.

What Pace displayed with his wallet, was matched twofold by what poured from his heart. He was known for sponsoring families during Christmas, providing refurbished baseball gloves to budding baseball players in need, gifting people with his Giants season tickets when he was unable to attend a game, and of course, collecting thousands of cans for homeless veterans in need during the Christmas season.

And like the months, seasons and holidays that pass during the school year, Pace morphed and celebrated each special event with his usual gusto and good cheer. On Halloween, there was always a frightful, gruesome ghoulie to greet the cautious, yet riveted young Leopards who needed to cross the street in their own festive garb. Pace, (ÒSantaÓ) was punctual each December as he descended from the North Pole to heartily welcome the children enamored with St. Nick and eager for Christmas to soon arrive. At the culmination of the epic Lincoln Holiday Sing-alongs, Santa would stride into the school cafeteria to thank the school and students for donating to the canned and dried goods drive and helping vets in need.

As Pace retires and begins a new stage in his life, Lincoln families and staff bid their crossing guard, hero, and symbol of pride, loyalty, and dedication, a fond farewell. They will miss his smiling face, generous heart, booming voice, and sidekick, Sonia.

Good-bye, Scott Pace! You will be missed!

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