Scott Carey of Portola Valley dies at 82


Scott T. Carey, a former Palo Alto mayor and a well-known figure in Silicon Valley real estate, died on Aug. 11 at his home in Portola Valley surrounded by his family, following a brief illness. He was 82.

He was born on March 11, 1933, to Paul T. and Stanleigh Carey, who were an artist and a pianist, respectively. He grew up in Berkeley, graduated from Berkeley High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He later studied at the School of Law there at Boalt Hall, receiving his law degree in 1961.

From 1955 to 1957, he served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and attained the rank of captain. He began practicing law in San Francisco and continued in Palo Alto from 1962 to 1968. In 1976, he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court.

In 1968, he joined the residential real estate brokerage of Cornish & Carey, which had a small commercial practice in Palo Alto. During his many years at the company for which he served as president, CEO and later chairman, Mr. Carey turned the firm into one of the area's most prominent commercial real estate brokerages. Now based in Santa Clara under the name Newmark Cornish & Carey, it has more than 280 agents and 12 offices in Northern California.

From 1975 to 1979, Mr. Carey served on the Palo Alto City Council, including a term as mayor. Considered an "establishment" member of the council, he was instrumental in winning council support for the $7.5 million acquisition of 500 acres in the lower foothills that is now the core of the Arastradero Open Space Preserve.

In addition, he served as an organizer and attorney for the Economic Opportunity Council of Northern Santa Clara County, a member of the Santa Clara County Land Use Commission, a member of the board of Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley and, more recently, as an advisory board member to the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy.

According to his family, Mr. Carey was known as a strong public speaker who could win over audiences with his humor. His many passions included family, law, politics, Bay Area sports and cars, and he enjoyed ending the day with a book, the news and a glass of wine. He belonged to the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club and the Vintage Club in Indian Wells, California; he played golf avidly until he lost his sight in January.

"He made the best of his life, learning and coping, keeping his wit and sense of humor," his wife, Susan, said of his last months.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Susan Carey of Portola Valley; and his children, Michael T. Carey of San Mateo, Dennis Carey of Hanoi, Vietnam, Jeff Beaty of Concord, Cynthia (Michael Phillips) of Napa Valley, Kimberly Corso of Menlo Park, Christopher Corso of Portland, Lisa (Randy) Lamb of Atherton, and Mike E. Carey of Santa Barbara.

He is also survived by six grandchildren, Tyler Woods; Cole T. Carey; Zachary, William and Alexandra Lamb; Sophia Phillips; and Benjamin Carey; and a brother, Peter (Joanne) Carey of Palo Alto.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations can be made to the UC Berkeley School of Law; Eastside College Preparatory School, 1041 Myrtle St., East Palo Alto, CA 94303; and the Scott Carey Scholarship Fund, Woodside Priory, 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley 94028.

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