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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Christmas lights left up in honour of holiday decorating fanatic

by Sylene Argent

‘Tis the time of year to be merry, festive, and to spread holiday cheer. And, getting into the holiday spirit was easy for area resident, Moe Scratch, who was known, by family and friends, for what seemed like an endless array of holiday decorations. His display not only helped light up his block, but the spirits of those around him.

  Sadly, on December 6, Scratch passed away peacefully, in his sleep, at the age of 95, and his family intends to keep those decorations up this year to honour him and his love of Christmas. In addition, his family hopes leaving those holiday lights on for the season will also spread joy during what has proved to be a difficult year.

  Lauren, Scratch’s granddaughter, noted her grandfather got to do what he loved, artfully arranging his Christmas decorations, right until the very end.

  “He was an absolute Christmas fanatic,” she said, noting he would decorate with various Christmas lights, reindeer of multiple sizes, a full out nativity scene, wreaths, and house lights. “Every year, he would tell us he was done buying Christmas decorations for his house, and yet was unable to leave Home Hardware empty-handed after a Christmas sale. Our family would gently tease him, but deep down we were in awe of how this man, nearly a centenarian, was so dedicated to spreading festive joy to the neighbourhood.”

  Scratch’s son, Dale, said his father decorated this way because it was all about family. “Christmas was special to him because is meant he would be with his grandkids. That was very special to him. He always expanded [his display],” he said.

  Dale also believes his dad was so meticulous about his display because he was stubborn. “He was 95 and wanted to prove to the world 95-year-olds can do it. He was defying agism. He did it all himself,” he said of the decorating.  

  Scratch served his country in WWII and also volunteered for many years with his local Fire Department. He worked as a mechanic at the Windsor Salt Mine, Rund’s Motors, and Cadillac. He was also a long-time member and volunteer at his church.


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