Monday, November 21, 2016

James Bert Scholes

Geneseo, NY - James Bert Scholes was born on April, 1921, in Stamford, Connecticut, third son and youngest child of Samuel Ray and Elizabeth (Boren) Scholes. He died from complications of a fall November 15, 2016, in Livingston County, New York.

He grew up in Alfred, New York, where he and Eloise Bassett were married October 31, 1942. A graduate of Middlebury College, he served as an engineer officer in World War II. As a professor of English, he taught in Kansas, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, and (from 1959 to 1984) at the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he received teaching awards in 1964 and 1976. Following retirement, he enjoyed a second career on the regional stage in and around Rochester in dramatic vehicles from Chekhov to On Golden Pond, and most recently in the Geriactors, a senior traveling troupe which he co-founded.

He was the last of his generation in the family, having been predeceased be his wife, and siblings Samuel Ray Scholes Jr., Ann (Scholes) Colvin, and Addison Boren Scholes. Survivors include his daughter Sandra Scholes Henderson, son-in-law Harold Henderson, three grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and nieces and nephews. Friends, colleagues, and relatives cherish memories of his enthusiasm, his determination, his unfailing sense of humor, and his generosity with time, money, and spirit. 

A memorial reception will be held in the future. Please consider memorial donations to WXXI, the Teresa House in Geneseo, or the ACLU. To leave online condolences please visit


  1. Jim was a true Renaissance Man. I have the highest regard and the warmest feelings for him. He was always kind to me and took the time to talk to me. We acted several times in Community Players and no matter what was going on he was a gentleman and a professional. I would seek out his television shows just to see him and watch him. He always gave me a huge smile. Someone I looked forward to seeing. I am very saddened to hear of his passing.I know God has a place for him in Heaven. My father thought highly of him as well. Who knows, maybe they are setting up theater as we speak. My heart felt prayers go to his family. God Bless.
    Beth Cali

  2. Dear family of Jim Scholes, I have had the pleasure of knowing Jim and Eloise since the mid 80s. Every encounter taught me something about the island where they spent part of the summer, a good book to read, food or play he was working on. When I took an advanced course and needed a patient to perform my new skills on, Jim was willing and traveled to Buffalo for the final insertion. He invited us to his plays and I even have some old tape recordings he sent me. He knew what to say to make you feel good. I'm so grateful to have known them both and I share in your feeling of loss. With sympathies, Ann Borgstrom.

  3. My condolences on your loss. I have such fond memories of the Chinese Lit. class I had with him in the 1970's. I looked forward to his reading from Arthur Waley's "Monkey" at the end of every class and can still hear his voice as the mischievous Monkey! all best to all of you, Paula Tamburello