ALEXANDER COUNTY (March 31, 2021) – Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area was one of Wilton Scronce’s favorite places to hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the Conover man passed away at the age of 71 on October 3, 2020.
Because of his love of the Alexander County park, family and friends were asked to make a donation to Rocky Face Park in lieu of flowers. Those donations totaled enough to purchase a flagpole that was recently erected at the park.
“Although he lived in neighboring Catawba County, Wilton visited the park at least once a week to do the Vertical Mile Challenge. He loved to exercise and made the earth his playground for physical activities, with Rocky Face Park being one of his favorites,” said his sister, Lorraine Pope. “He was a dedicated environmentalist who loved his country and the flag.”
She said the family wanted to create a lasting memorial at a place he loved, so the flagpole at Rocky Face Park seemed appropriate. The flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol and given to the park to make the memorial project even more special.
According to park records, Scronce finished 59 laps of the difficult Vertical Mile Challenge two-mile loop; however, Park Ranger Alisha Stamey said he did many more laps that weren’t recorded.
“He finished the VMC (8 laps), the 5 VMC (40 laps), and was working on the 10 VMC (80 laps). He wasn’t doing it for the rewards, he just loved being at Rocky Face Park and doing the VMC course,” Stamey said. “We miss seeing him because he was such a pleasure to be around, but this flagpole will always serve as a reminder of him.”
The base contains a memorial marker so park visitors will understand the significance of the flagpole and learn more about Mr. Scronce.
To learn more about the Vertical Mile Challenge club or upcoming races, visit www.rockyfacepark.com/the-vertical-mile-challenge.