Community says thank you after legendary St. Cloud mall Santa dies

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Dick Scott was part of many Minnesota families' holiday tradition, appearing in thousands of photos over the years he spent as the "real" Santa Claus at the Crossroads Center in St. Cloud.

Scott, 73, died Sunday in Maine, surrounded by his family after battling brain cancer for over a year.

"My heart is broken," Crossroads General Manager Darcy Eigen told the St. Cloud Times. "I met Dick 18 years ago when he started as our Santa. And he was truly magical. He made everybody's Christmas. Kids loved him, and he loved to see all of them every year."

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Scott, or Santa Dick as many knew him, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor, in September 2013, which caused him to miss being Santa at the mall that year, his daughter Lisa Fox wrote on his CaringBridge page.

He fought off the tumor with radiation and chemotherapy, and felt well enough to return to the mall for this past Christmas season.

But in February, doctors found two more tumors – one in the base of his neck and the other on his lower spine.

And on Sunday, he died.

Wrote Fox, on CaringBridge:

"He was surrounded by love and knows he touched so many lives. We cannot express enough gratitude we have for all of that have prayed and sent words of encouragement, shared your stories, and sent your love during this time."

Scott was a part of childhood memories for years, and many shared their fondness of him on his CaringBridge page, saying he made Christmas special and magical for kids both big and small. Some even shared photos they took with him – making sure to wait until they saw Santa Dick at the mall to take their picture with the "real" Santa.

Others took to social media to share memories.

"Thank you for keeping the magic and love of the season fully alive for MANY children. You will be greatly missed and joyfully remembered!" Ann McCoy Symalla wrote on Facebook.

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Fox told the St. Cloud Times she was "very touched" by the support from so many.

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