Legendary WBOC Photojournalist Scorchy Tawes Dies at 86 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Legendary WBOC Photojournalist Scorchy Tawes Dies at 86

(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

01/29/2007 11:47 AM ET; UPDATED 01/30/2007 12:42 PM ET

CRISFIELD- The staff at WBOC-TV sadly announce that the station has lost one of its own.

Legendary WBOC photojournalist C. Norris "Scorchy" Tawes of Crisfield died early Monday morning at the age of 86 in the Alice Byrd Tawes Nursing Home.

Born in Crisfield on Jan. 20, 1921, he picked up the nickname "Scorchy" as a teenager when those days fishing scorched his skin and his hair.

He graduated from Crisfield High School in 1939. He recalled that he delayed his graduation by deliberately "flunking" his classes to play sports, including baseball. He was a member of the Central Shore League and ultimately was inducted into the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame.

But during this time, duty called on young Scorchy. In the 1940s, he joined the Army and fought in World War II. In fact, he parachuted into France during the liberation and fought during the Battle of the Bulge. It was there that he discovered another passion.

"I first picked up a camera in World War II," he said. "I was with General Patton's Army there. And when I came home from World War II all I did was shoot pictures."

It became such a passion that Scorchy decided maybe he could make some money at it. So he started his own photography business. He shot his share of wedding portraits, but it was pictures of nature and of interesting people that he really loved. One of his favorite subjects was Crisfield's other famous residents, wildfowl carvers Lem and Steve Ward.

Scorchy always enjoyed the time he spent with his children. He also maintained his two life-long hobbies: photography and fishing. 

While with WBOC, Scorchy was able to combine his two loves for his award-winning "Outdoor Report," which had its on-air debut in 1975. Scorchy's segments were one-of-a-kind and he drew a large following of fans for his work. For nearly 30 years, he graced WBOC with stories about fishing, hunting and then people, everyday people. These stories landed Scorchy numerous journalism awards and cemented his status as a Delmarva legend.

He became a full-time employee of WBOC in March 1980 before reverting to part-time in September of 1990.

A loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Scorchy was preceded in death in November 2005 by his wife of 66 years, Jean Tawes of Crisfield.

He is survived by four children, Pat Gray and her husband, Harry, of Salisbury, Butch Tawes and his wife, Justine, of Marion Station, Tim Tawes and his wife, Bobbi Lynn, of Marion Station and Jeanne Hanke and her husband, Bob, of Marion Station; nine grandchildren, David Tawes, Brian Tawes, Andrew Tawes, Kymberly Tawes, Michael Gray, Leslie Westfall, Lisa Gibson, Ashley Hanke and Robert Hanke; and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Methodist Church in Crisfield. A viewing will be held at the church one hour prior to the service. Friends may also call at Bradshaw & Sons Funeral Home in Crisfield on Wednesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. and again one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Alice Byrd Tawes Nursing Home Building Fund, 201 Hall Highway, Crisfield, MD 21817. Donations can also be made to Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733, Salisbury, MD 21802.


 


 

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