Metro-East News

‘A major loss’: Former District 118 school board member dies

A longtime former member of the Belleville District 118 school board died earlier this week. Carol Scharf, 76, served on the board for 32 years, starting in 1979.

“Carol passing away is a major loss to our district,” said Matt Klosterman, superintendent of District 118.

He referred to Scharf as “the consummate” board member, who insisted that all conversations put the students first.

“She’s not a current board member, but there are so many times when we’re talking and one of us says, ‘I wonder what Carol would say about this,’ or ‘I know what Carol would have to say about this,’” Klosterman said.

Scharf had a number of roles while on the board, District 118 officials said, including terms as president and vice president. She was also on the buildings and grounds committee and involved with the construction of two schools, Klosterman said. She made sure Westhaven Elementary and Central Junior High “became great places for our kids and staff to spend their time,” he said.

Klosterman said Scharf would frequently be in the schools and at students activities. “She was a regular attender of Young Authors, the spelling bee, the science fair; she came to events that board members wouldn’t necessarily be at, but she chose to be there,” he said.

Scharf was also a registered nurse, working for Dr. W.F. Haines and the Lincoln Surgical Group. She is survived by a daughter, Debbie Gain, of Swansea; and a son, Scott Scharf, of Belleville.

Scharf died Monday at Memorial Hospital. Funeral and burial services were Thursday morning.

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