Richmond lost one of its most exemplary servant leaders Monday when S. Buford Scott died at age 86. Praise and tributes from those who knew him come easy for the man who made his mark in the financial industry and in the hearts, minds and souls of so many in the Richmond region.

Accolades abound for one who never sought them, given generously by those who knew and admired his business leadership at the family’s Scott & Stringfellow brokerage and what is now Richmond-based BB&T Scott & Stringfellow. “The business community has lost a great leader. He certainly was a giant during the last 50 years in the history of Richmond businesses,” said J. Alfred Broaddus Jr., who served with Mr. Scott for years on the board of the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

Applause is equally loud for the many ways Mr. Scott helped guide civic and educational organizations to greater accomplishments. His devotion to bettering the lives of children through schooling and opportunity has helped hundreds of thousands of area youths.

His faith and generosity touched countless Richmonders. The work of many nonprofits and faith groups flourished thanks to the time, advocacy and financial help Mr. Scott devoted to them.

These are all high-level milestones for a master achiever. But we will most miss Buford Scott the person, with his modesty always fueling a gentle manner that allowed each encounter with him to be a true exchange of ideas where the experience enriched all participants.

He was a gentleman of the highest caliber. We can think of few others who so embodied the spirit of common decency, generosity and humility.

Mr. Scott loved his work, his colleagues, his neighbors throughout the broader community and he loved Richmond. He shrugged off retirement and he never gave up on advancing his hometown. That consistency was unbroken.

John Sherman Jr., who worked with Mr. Scott for 30 years and retired as president and CEO of Scott & Stringfellow in 2002, probably said it best: “He has devoted his life to serving his fellow man through financial advice and through making the world a better place for everyone.”

Thank you, Buford Scott. You made Richmond and Virginia better places.

We send our heartfelt condolences to the Scott family.

— Thomas A. Silvestri,

President and Publisher,

Richmond Times-Dispatch

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