It is with tremendous sadness that we share that Lt. John Karl Scarinza (Ret.) 63, of Randolph, New Hampshire, loving husband to Jenn, and devoted father to Ethan, passed away peacefully on April 22, 2023, from a very aggressive cancer. He received visits from family and close friends in his last days and was in Jenn’s arms when he left this world.
John was born on September 25, 1959, in Summit, New Jersey to Vivian Elizabeth (Holmes) Bean and the late John Alfred Scarinza. The family moved to New Hampshire in 1970 and built and opened the Grand View Lodge at the top of Gorham Hill on Route 2. The entire family, including young Johnny, worked at the lodge, restaurant, and gift shop, which today is still operated by his mother Vivian.
John Scarinza spent a lifetime dedicated to law enforcement and community service, starting his career with the Gorham Police Department before joining the New Hampshire State Police in 1982. John rose through the ranks to become the Lieutenant Commander of Troop F based in Twin Mountain, retiring in 2009 after a long and distinguished career. He continued to work in an auxiliary role with the State Police, and twice served as Interim Police Chief for the town of Gorham (1994-95 and 2019). He was a Randolph Police Deputy and the Gorham Code Enforcement Officer.
John wasn’t one to be idle. In addition to his police work, he did general contracting and was relied on by upwards of sixty seasonal homeowners to open and close their Randolph homes each summer. He was a true craftsman, a man who got things done and the “go-to” person for so many. In Randolph, when there is a question, the response was often “ask John” since he was such a resource of information. Recently, John found energy to help coordinate the collection of ballistic vests from retired New Hampshire police officers to send to the Ukraine and help protect military and first responders in the rescue of civilians in the war zone. John made good things happen, and did them well.
John was a dedicated community leader, particularly in Randolph, where he was often called “the Mayor”, with only a little jest. He was incredibly proud of his role in the creation and continued management of the now 12,000 acre Randolph Community Forest. John was a true steward of the land, and was happy that the RCF will be part of his legacy. He served as chairman to the Randolph Forest Commission, Randolph Planning Board, and Coos County Planning Board. He was a member of the County Conservation Commission Board, past president of the Randolph Mountain Club, and was a founding member of the North Country Safety Council Foundation. He spent countless hours working on projects to benefit the community at large.
One of John’s greatest passions was maple sugaring. Jenn and John met at a sugarhouse in 2004 and were married in 2013 in a beautiful field they now own on Randolph Hill. Every spring, they tapped 600 trees and boiled the sap in the sugarhouse they built together, and got engaged in. In 2020, Scarinza’s Sugarhouse won the Carlise Award for best syrup in NH. John said that of his many awards and commendations, this was the one he was most pleased with. John loved having visitors at the sugarhouse and being able to share the magic of sugaring with others.
An avid outdoorsman and hunter, John just loved being in the woods. He never missed a deer season, and folks knew that more often than not, John could be relied on to bring home a deer, and usually a big one. Even this past fall, in between treatments for his cancer, John managed to bring home a buck on opening day. He loved cooking venison for family and friends. John had a wide variety of interests and talents including hiking, camping, beekeeping, gardening, carpentry, photography, and playing the accordion. He loved being “Uncle Johnny” and spending time with his nieces and nephews.
Of all his roles, being a wonderful husband and father was his greatest source of pride and happiness. Jenn and John had son Ethan in May of 2021, and he was the absolute joy of John’s life. Whenever he talked about being Ethan’s daddy, John simply lit up with delight, telling about watching Ethan grow and learn. John loved the simple things with Ethan, like watching wildlife, playing outside, reading stories, planting potatoes, and showing him how to make a pumpkin pie and “drive” the excavator. He was looking forward to teaching Ethan about all the fun activities that he and Jenn shared. John was always doing things, big and little, to take care of them, right up to his final weeks. A genuinely generous and thoughtful man, John’s biggest concern was always for the wellbeing of his family.
John was a masterful, animated storyteller! Without much prompting, he’d launch into a wonderful story about policework, town events, or a joke on himself that had everyone laughing. In honor of this, we invite you to go to https://fondfol.io/3LrWDzR to leave a treasured memory, a story about John, and/or one of your favorite stories that he told. They will be collected and printed into a keepsake book for Ethan to learn more about what an amazing man his father was.
John is survived by his wife and best friend, Jennifer (Barton) Scarinza, son Ethan John-Allan Scarinza, his mother Vivian Bean of Randolph New Hampshire, sister Susan with husband Gary Marmer of Dorset Vermont, sister Kathryn with husband Bill Howland of Nine Mile Falls Washington, brother Jeffrey and wife Raina Scarinza of Bow New Hampshire, Aunt Lillian and Uncle Richard Macko of Cary North Carolina, as well as nieces Whitney with spouse Lydia, Danielle, and Abigail Marmer, and nephews Austin and Blake Scarinza. John is also survived by his (late) father’s wife, Carolyn Scarinza of Cape Coral Florida and step siblings Donna Sudol, Brian Saucier, Jeff Bean, Jody (Bean) Dalvet and (late) Dick Bean. He was also well loved and will be greatly missed by the extended Barton family. He was predeceased by his father John A. Scarinza of Cape Coral Florida, and his stepfather Thomas R. Bean of Randolph New Hampshire.
Visiting hours at Bryant Funeral Home at 1 Promenade Street, Gorham will take place Sunday, April 30th from 1-3 pm and 6-8 pm. A funeral service will be held at the Town and Country Inn on May 1st, beginning at 2 pm. A Celebration of Life will also be held in Randolph this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages those who knew and loved John to honor his memory by donating blood and/or platelets, of which he received many units during treatment. Contributions in his honor may also be made to an organization of your choice or the new John Scarinza Memorial Scholarship, (checks made out to The Randolph Foundation, and mailed to PO Box 283, Gorham, NH 03581) which will provide scholarships for people who wish to pursue a career in law enforcement, forestry or wildlife science. Arrangements are being taken care of by Bryant’s Funeral Home, and you will find the online guestbook at http://www.bryantfuneralhome.net/