PUBLISHED JUNE 30, 2016
By LISA STARK
Carole Scoble of Sun City Center has always shared the stories and lessons she has learned in life in a special way: through the medium of painting. An award-winning watercolor artist, she is active in the Sun City Center Art Club, the Southshore Arts Council and numerous community activities centered around the arts.
Traveling through 27 countries, Scoble’s paintings hang in many private and public collections throughout the United States and abroad. Locally, Scoble’s portraits of Rev. Neal Long, Rev. Jim Niemeyer, Rev. Fred Gardner and Rev. Warren Langer hang in the hall at United Methodist Church in Sun City Center.
Scoble is a familiar face around art circles in the community. She served as co-chair for the 2002 Art Show sponsored by the SCC Art Club, and was on the SCC Art Club House Tour in both 2002 and 2007. She is also known for painting the Old Town Hall for the SCC Historical Display.
Growing up in Lake Parsippany, a small, lake community in northern New Jersey, Scoble decided early on that she had a knack for drawing, as she practiced on portraits of her family and classmates. At a young age, she married her childhood sweetheart, Bob, who encouraged her to pursue her passion for painting. The couple had three children: daughter Kim, and sons, Bob and Jeff.
In 1987 when her husband retired from AT&T, the couple purchased and renovated an old stone house in Bushkill, Pa. Scoble spearheaded the creation of the Bushkill Historical Society, where many of her paintings of Bushkill Past still hang in the county library, courthouse, township buildings and many of the homes in the area.
When the couple moved to Sun City Center in 2001, Scoble continued to pursue her interest in painting and became involved in community art activities. But life took an unexpected turn in 2005, when Scoble learned that her 7-year-old grandson, Tyler, had been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Almost simultaneously, she learned that her husband, Bob, was diagnosed with Stage-4 melanoma.
Bob and his grandson Tyler formed a deep alliance, as both battled their illnesses together, one in Florida, and one in New Jersey. Bob bought a tape recorder and began recording messages to his grandson, saying that they should “stay strong together.”
Sadly, Bob died in Feb. 2005, after recording side one of a tape and saying to Tyler: “I will talk to you on the other side.”
“I know he meant on the other side of the tape,” said Scoble. “But I think on another level, he was saying he would talk to Tyler from the other side — from heaven.”
To help her through her grief, Scoble created the painting Angels Watch Over All God’s Children that pictured Tyler as a child in the center of the painting. She displayed her painting at this year’s Southshore Arts Council Members’ Meeting, held at MiraBay in January, and told about the “angels,” both seen and unseen, that have helped her family through their most difficult times. The painting won the People’s Choice award at the Arts Council event.
Today, Tyler has beaten leukemia and is now a strong healthy, happy college student looking forward to his future. He graduated from Morristown Beard High School at the top of his class and served as captain of the football team. He is now attending Brown University, with a major in computer science.
“There were so many wonderful ‘angels’ that have helped us,” said Scoble. “Thinking of them still brings tears to my eyes.”
Tyler received a special gift from one such “angel” on his 17th birthday, from Peter Spina, the owner of the Lincoln Dealership in Wayne, N.J., and a leukemia survivor himself.
Spina, who had met the frail, bald 7-year-old Tyler in a restaurant a decade earlier, had promised that when the boy reached his 17th birthday, he would give him a car.
To his delight and surprise, Tyler received his first car, a 2011 Mercury Mariner, on his birthday as promised. Tyler said he was “unbelievably grateful” for the new car.
“I still can’t believe that he actually came through with what he said he was going to do,” said Tyler.
To this day, Scoble still finds great joy in creating paintings that reflect the chapters of her life. One of her most recent was a piece she did picturing her dear friend, Marion Scheller, also a member of the SCC Art Club, who recently passed away. Scoble’s painting of her friend won first place at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Sun City Center.
“I find comfort in my art and giving honor to the people I love,” said Scoble. “ I don’t think I will ever want to give up painting. It means too much to me.”