Friday, September 08, 2006

RIP: A Great One Has Been Lost

A great author, communicator, and estate planning expert has lost his battle with cancer. Scott Fithian, author of Values Based Estate Planning has passed away from cancer at the youthful age of 45. I never knew Scott personally, though I've read his materials (and ironically ordered his book just two weeks ago), but he will be sorely missed in the financial planner community. What follows are a couple pieces about Scott Fithian.

“A Tribute to Scott”
by Jim Stovall

This week, I lost a great friend and colleague. If you consider his age, Scott died about
40 years too soon. If you consider his impact on the world, he filled several lifetimes.
Cancer eventually took his life, but it never took his courage, his dignity, or his concern
for people everywhere. I only knew Scott a few years, but I can truly say of him the best
thing that could be said of anyone: Scott made me a better person. We were in business
together, and each day, through the way he conducted himself, he challenged everyone to
reach for and perform on a higher level.

There are very few things in life that are incontrovertibly true, but without fail and
without exception, we will all leave this world, and there will be friends, colleagues, and
loved ones still behind. The only question before each of us every day is: What is the
legacy we leave behind?

Scott was involved in the financial planning industry. He helped professionals and their
clients manage their assets and their estates. He felt this work was important and pursued
his business with passion; but as important as these financial matters were, Scott often
said, “When we’re gone, money will be the least significant thing we leave behind.”

I know everyone reading this column in a newspaper, a magazine, or online somewhere
around the world, has lost special people in their lives. The only thing we can do as a
lasting tribute to these special people is to take the best characteristics of their essence
and adopt them into our lives as we move ahead. We are the spark that is left behind
from their days here on this earth. Always remember, someday the people you care about
most will be looking back on your life and thinking these same thoughts. Remember, we
are writing our own obituaries, one day at a time.

Scott and I had many great conversations during the last days of his life. I view these
times as priceless treasures that will forever change who I am. Scott and I had a
tremendous advantage in that we knew his days were short. Think of all the people in
your life who mean so much to you. Contact them today. If they live another 50 years,
you’ve planted a great seed. If they pass on today, you’ve generated a priceless memory.
As you go through your day today, live each day as if it were your last. Some day it will

Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a
published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a
columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial
Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at
Let's all say a little prayer for Scott's Family.
Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP