As a former Pennsylvania governor, congressman, and U.S. ambassador, the late William W. Scranton left an indelible mark on the city that bears his family's name.
A dedicated public servant, he worked tirelessly to enrich the lives of citizens everywhere through his efforts to revitalize industry, reduce welfare rolls, enact educational reforms, and advocate for natural conservation.
His accomplishments brought him many accolades. On Friday, his children and other family members rejoiced as the Lackawanna County Historical Society unveiled a historical marker lauding his public service.
The marker is among nearly 2,500 across the state that chronicle historical events and accomplishments of notable figures. Erected outside the historical society's home at 232 Monroe Ave., Scranton, it overlooks the Scranton family estate.
"It's particularly fitting. Our father cared about and loved Northeastern Pennsylvania," said Joseph Scranton, one of about 20 people who attended the ceremony celebrating the marker's unveiling. "He loved history. To be part of the Lackawanna Historical Society would be as much of a thrill to him as it is for us."
Scranton, who died in July 2013 at the age of 96, served as Pennsylvania governor from 1963 to 1967. Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus, executive director of the county's historical society, said the group began efforts to obtain approval for the marker from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission about 11/2 years ago.
As a former governor, Scranton was automatically entitled to have a marker erected in his honor, but typically they are not approved until 10 years after a governor's death. The agency pushed to get Scranton's marker approved this year to coincide with Scranton's sesquicentennial. The cost of the marker was covered by the Scranton family.
Joseph Scranton, 67, of Kansas City, Mo., said the family is thrilled by the honor. "Even in his later years when he could barely walk, he'd make sure he traveled around to any new project going on or any new business going up," he said.
He and his brother, William W. Scranton III, said the family is overwhelmed by the amount of love and respect shown their father. "It's just lovely to have a historical marker here in the community he grew up in," William Scranton said.