|With great regret and sorrow of the untimely passing of our beloved compatriot 1st Lt. Russell Scarbourgh, I would like to submit a small report on Russell's memorial service on 1- 27- 09. Chuck Shields and I arrived in Gainesville, Ga. around 2:00 pm. We along with Bob Blankenship were the first Cav. members to arrive. We went inside gave our condolences to Debbie Scarbourgh [a wonderful gal, that treated Russell like a King]. Gene Scarbourgh [ Russell's older brother] came up to me and told what a great job 1st Sgt. Tom Cofield and the Blue Ridge Rifles did on the honor guard of Russell lying in state, visitation. He told me seeing the boys march in , in uniforms and weapons, posting guard, rotating made his blood run cold and sent shivers up his backbone and replied that he appreciated what Tom and the men of Russ's troop had done. Major Stetson and wife Amy arrived, showing true brotherhood through hardship of their own [Amy having just being released from the hospital] to be there for Russell and Debbie. We walked out side to see 1st Sgt Cofield his troop of Cavalrymen arrive on bikes with the Colors posted up front looking sharp. The chapel was packed with friends and family. We had 15 to 20 Mech. Cav. members present. Deb's brother MC 'd the service and did a great job. He was a class act. Major Luke Stetson spoke as Russell's friend and fellow compatriot. Major Stetson made Russell and us proud, with his sincerity and humor. Russell's grand daughter spoke and gave prayer. Debbie two sons spoke, showing great respect for their stepfather. They loved Russell, it was very obvious. Debbie got up and thanked everyone for being there. She showed where her two boys got their grace and charm. Despite losing Russell I think everyone there felt a little better sharing stories and thinking of him.
Russell's two older brothers and sister was very nice people. It was obvious where Russell's southern hospitality and deep down goodness came from after meeting his family.
While we were saying our good-byes several of Russell's old friends and maybe a cousin [not sure about that] came up to ask questions about the SCV and Mech. Cav. I think we ended up recruiting 4 or 5 new members.
In closing I would like to say what a great loss to the Sons of the Confederate Veterans and the Mechanized Cavalry it is to lose such a Fantastic Leader and wonderful friend! He will live forever in our hearts and we will always appreciate the memories he has given to us.
Capt. Johnny Ray Sparks