Stephen Scanlon, 59, of Salem, beloved husband of Joyce Nash, died unexpectedly of heart complications on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at North Shore Medical Center, surrounded by his family.
Born in Morrison, IL, he was the son of the late Edward A. and Lillian C. (Fadoir) Scanlon. His family moved in 1970 to Danvers, where he was raised and educated. In high school, he was a member of the swim team. A diligent and hard worker from a very early age, some of Stephen’s first jobs included serving as a lifeguard, as a courier for Daniel Lowe’s, and as chief cook and bottle washer at the “As You Like It” on Essex St in Salem.
After graduating from Danvers High School in 1977, he attended Salem State College (University) for a few years before beginning his career as a chef. Stephen cooked at dozens of restaurants on the North Shore over the last 40 years. He got his start as a “rounds cook” at the historic Lyceum Restaurant in Salem. Other classic venues in Salem where his talents as a chef were honed included Romagnoli’s Table, the Beef and Oyster House, as well as The Ship on Route 1.
In 1987, he was the member of the opening team when the boutique hotel The Appleton Inn was built near the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers. The restaurant at The Appleton Inn was known for its elegance, ambiance, and its culinary creativity. After Marriot bought the property in the early 1990s, Stephen moved on to be the lead chef at the Union Grill in Beverly. Later, he became sous chef at the Hawkes Street Café in Marblehead. He also worked for many years as a chef at the Corinthian Yacht Club and concurrently for Truffles (a café and catering company) both in Marblehead. He also cooked for The Grapevine in Salem and Ithaki in Ipswich. Most recently, he worked as the chef at Brightview Senior Living in Danvers where the residents delighted in his culinary creativity and his entertaining personality.
He frequently volunteered his time, talent, and treasure to various local and community organizations in and around the North Shore area. Every October, he was a proud carny – working at the Topsfield Fair, serving fried food on sticks and interacting with the public. He also dabbled in performance art. For the many years he lived on Hawthorne Boulevard, he would frequently dress up as “Mr. Pumpkinhead” (an actual pumpkin on his head and scarecrow clothing) and silently perch himself on the steps of the Andrew-Stafford house to the surprise and delight of unsuspecting tourists when he would suddenly move or say hello.
Stephen enjoyed traveling, especially to areas of the country known for their food, like New Orleans for gumbo, Nashville and Memphis for barbeque, and San Antonio for Tex-Mex. He was an avid swimmer, surfer, and cyclist. He enjoyed all aspects of nature, including bird-watching, botany, astronomy, and camping. He also loved listening to music and going to clubs in Boston. He was an avid supporter of NPR and several local public radio stations. His past times included listening to “Bats in the Belfry” on WMBR, creating and sending postcards as works of art to his friends and family, and of course, sitting on the group W bench, litterin’, and creatin’ a nuisance.
He was known for his creativity, youthful enthusiasm for living life, and for his joyful smile. Stephen loved spending time with his family and friends and will be deeply missed.
Surviving Stephen are his wife, Joyce Nash of Salem; his sisters, Kathryn Scanlon of Washington, Sarah Gray and her husband, Kenneth of Washington, Suzie Gilday and her husband, Michael of Beverly, and Liz Scanlon of Washington; his sisters-in-law Mary E. Nash of Maryland, Virginia Hartnett and her husband Dana of Beverly, Carol Leslie and her husband Robbie of Beverly, Cindy Wagner of New York, and his brother-in-law, John L. Nash of Salisbury; his aunt Kathryn Orcini of Medford; and his uncle, John Fadoir and his wife, Donna of Chatham.
He is also survived by his nephews, Sam Gilday, Daniel Skillingstead, Adam Hartnett, Lucas Gselassie and his daughter Amyra Gselassie, Jesse Leslie and his companion Melissa Worthen; and his nieces, Keira Campbell and her husband, Ronnie, Ruby Skillingstead, and Hannah Schmidt and her husband, Matthew, and their daughter, Wilhelmina Schmidt.
He leaves behind many lifelong friends, especially Jon McKeigue of Adelaide, Australia and Mark Williamson of Danvers.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Stephen’s life on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 4 to 7 p.m. at The Polish Club at 12 Cheever Street in Danvers.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Stephen’s memory to his legacy fund at https://www.gofundme.com/legacy-fund-for-stephen-scanlon to help defray the costs of final arrangements.
Published on  September 22, 2017