Family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors will gather at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center for a memorial service to honor the life of longtime Wilde Lake High School guidance counselor Nora L. Scanlan.
Scanlan, who worked at Wilde Lake from 1972 to 2002 — her entire Howard County public schools career, died Sept. 22.
She lived with breast cancer for more than two decades, according to an obituary in the Washington Post.
An overarching theme about Scanlan that emerges from across many online tributes is that she loved life and was full of zeal.
Scanlan was "first and foremost a humanitarian who championed people who didn't have the fortunes of living the American dream," one online commentor said.
She was "funny, giving, insightful, loving, compassionate and brave," said another.
"Nora was a wonderfully respected long-time guidance counselor at WLHS, outdoor enthusiast who had a zest for life that was unparalleled, taking on whatever life threw at her, and an incredible friend," longtime friend Roselle Commins wrote in an email to Columbia Patch. "Nora will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched."
Alicia Beall, a 1999 graduate of Wilde Lake, recalled a counselor known for her positive attitude and patience.
"Some counselors seem to have lost the sense of why they got in the 'biz', but she never did," Beall wrote in an email. "She seemed to approach her job with compassion and interest."
The Nora Scanlan Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at Wilde Lake High School.
Memorial contributions can be sent to the school, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia, MD 21044.