Former City Council member Danny Scarth remembered as advocate for east Fort Worth

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Danny Scarth was loved by nearly all who knew him.

The former District 4 City Council member, who died on Thanksgiving, was remembered as a tireless advocate for his district, his neighbors, and the city of Fort Worth. He was 60.

Tobi Jackson, president of the Fort Worth school board, grew up with Scarth and attended Eastern Hills Elementary with him. She said he was the nicest, most genuine person she’d ever met.

Scarth, who used a wheelchair after a neck injury playing college football, would go on to help Jackson make Fort Worth schools more accessible to similarly disabled students.

He always put a positive spin on criticism about the accessibility at the district’s schools, Jackson said, once joking that it took only 15 minutes to get across a school campus instead of the usual 20.

He never let his disability be an obstacle, Jackson said. Instead he used it as an example to others of what they could contribute, she said.

It was that need to contribute that drove him to run for Fort Worth City Council, said his son Payton.

“He had good friends or neighbors who’d come over to trim bushes or mow a lawn, and he wasn’t physically able to do that, so his way to give back to his neighbors was to represent them at city hall,” Payton said.

He served on the City Council from 2006 to 2015. During that time, Scarth distinguished himself for his ability to build consensus and his advocacy for east Fort Worth.

He was always respectful and he looked out for everyone, former council colleague Sal Espino said.

“He was one of the best at building consensus on the council during the six years I served with him,” former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said.

Scarth cared about beautifying and promoting east Fort Worth, District 3 council member Gyna Bivens said. He played an active role with the group East Side Blossoms, which plants blossoming cherry trees in the medians along Randol Mill Road and East First Street.

Scarth left the council in 2015 after losing to Cary Moon. Despite being political opponents, Moon credited Scarth with finding funding for sidewalks and trees in the Woodhaven neighborhood.

He served as an example to never give up in the face of hardship, outgoing assistant city manager Jay Chapa said.

Chapa told a story of how Scarth’s wheelchair had tipped over near city hall and he had to wait for a passing pedestrian to help him get up.

“He was just like ‘these are the cards I’m dealt and I’m just playing them,” Chapa said. Scarth later worked with the city’s department of public works to repave the section of sidewalk that caused the tip.

Scarth is survived by his wife, Lucretia; sons, Payton and Haddon; sisters, Debra Geater and DeeAnne Merrill; a brother, David; and two grandchildren.

The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 8 at Christ Chapel Bible Church, 3701 Birchman Ave. The family has asked that donations in Scarth’s memory be made to the JPS Foundation or the East Side Blossoms.

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