Cover photo for David Shotwell Scarrow's Obituary
David Shotwell Scarrow Profile Photo
1926 David Scarrow 2024

David Shotwell Scarrow

July 24, 1926 — March 24, 2024


David Shotwell Scarrow, age 97, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, passed away after a brief illness. David, eldest son of Edith and Carman Scarrow, was born and raised in Detroit alongside his brother and best friend Howard. In his youth, David’s progressive ideals and love for choir singing were nurtured by Detroit’s Central Methodist Church and by summers spent in Bay View, a Chautauqua community near Petoskey. David served in the U.S. Army in Italy at the end of WW II and was the first in his family to attend college (Duke University), subsequently earning a PhD in Philosophy at Harvard University. David met his future wife, Janet Sellman, at a young adult retreat of Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church; they were married in 1953. He taught philosophy at Boston University and Smith College before joining the faculty of Kalamazoo College in 1961. David devoted the rest of his academic career to “K”, actively promoting liberal arts ideals and building the academic community. He delighted in classical music both as a participant (singing in Kalamazoo’s Bach Festival Chorus for over 50 years) and an audience member. From 1991-2023, David once again summered in Bay View. There he served with Janet as Education Program Co-director in the late 1990s and led efforts to establish the American Experience lecture series, the Friday Forum on current issues, and the July 4 reading of the Declaration of Independence.

David’s children Robert and Susan, grandson Samuel, and daughter-in-law Hilary Barrett remember him for his loving support and infectious sense of gratitude. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Kiva, Friendship Village, Kalamazoo, 2 pm May 30, followed in July by a memorial service in Bay View.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes (901 Portage Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49001) or the Bay View Music Scholarship Fund (PO Box 583, Petoskey, MI, 49770, memo: scholarship).

While visiting David’s webpage at please sign the guestbook and/or share a memory with the family.

The family is being assisted by Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home; 120 S. Woodhams St. Plainwell, MI 49080 (269-685-5881).


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Shotwell Scarrow, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 620

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree