On Scott Sharer

Like many of you, I’ve known Scott Sharer for many years. He developed the first videoconferencing classes more than 20 years ago and taught them for 15 or so years. He and I served on numerous committees together at InfoComm and we taught at InfoComm’s and PETC Institutes for 20+ years all over the world.

My fellow AV industry friend, Steve Thorburn, sent me the note below about Scott and asked us to share it with all of you. Says Steve:

Many of you have asked me about Scott over the past few years, while at InfoComm and other events.

Last month when I called his cell to check in that he and Sandie were ready or if they needed help with Irma’s predicted landfall in Savannah, Sandie answered said all was well, then let me know why the collective group has not seen or heard from Scott lately.

So here it is: Scott has been diagnosed with moderate to severe atrophy of the brain and dementia caused by vascular degeneration of the brain. He has also had a stroke in the left pons area of the brain. Both Social Security and his long term disability insurance provider the date of the disability as 5/31/2015.

In Sandie’s note to me after our call she said:

He knew there was a problem for quite awhile before that, part of which I’m sure, is why he stopped teaching for InfoComm [now AVIXA]. They say the highly intelligent people are the ones that develop the best coping mechanisms (or is that the ability to hide it?). There’s a great movie called “Still Alice” which pretty much tells the story. She had early onset Alzheimer’s but dementia is dementia regardless of the physical cause. Scott has a lot of trouble reading now and has become dyslexic when responding to email. He has visual and now auditory hallucinations, some trouble walking, and has started losing parts of every day. Probably the hardest part of all of this is when he says, ‘I still remember that I used to be smart.’

But he is still the kindest, most generous man he’s always been, articulate and independent. We take every day as it comes and try to make the most of it.

She also suggested that we send a note to her that she can share with Scott describing a memory of his interaction with you or how you learned something from him. Email and phone calls are hard for Scott, so Sandie asked that we send them to her so she can share them with Scott. Please send them to scott.r.sharer@gmail.com.

I am heartbroken to be the one that is passing this on, but I have so many fond memories of IPDs, InfoComms, Install Schools and Design Schools where I was privileged to rub shoulders with Scott for 20 plus years.