Friends of Wolfgang Scott-Cohen said they’ll remember the late UNM student as a kind-hearted individual with whom they could crack jokes, discuss current events and engage in spirited political debate.
“He was the go-to guy to for questions about current events,” said Jared Trujillo, a UNM student who befriended Scott-Cohen in high school.
Scott-Cohen, a pre-med student who dreamt of becoming a neurologist, died late Tuesday night after being in a coma for 11 days. On Feb. 10, he was hit by a truck while riding his scooter. The driver of the truck was allegedly intoxicated.
Trujillo said Scott-Cohen wanted to be a doctor since high school.
In both high school and college, Scott-Cohen worked on several political campaigns for New Mexico Democrats Tom Udall and Bill Richardson, according to his Facebook page.
Scott-Cohen was not one to shy away from expressing his political opinions, said Juan Soche, a UNM student and another of Scott-Cohen’s high school friends.
“He’s always been one of those guys that once you meet him you know that he’s very knowledgeable,” Soche said. “He doesn’t mind speaking what he’s thinking.”
Scott-Cohen was born Sept. 9, 1989 to Rikki Scott and Norm Cohen. He graduated from Valley High School in Albuquerque in 2008.
High school classmate Kathrina Shirley said Scott-Cohen had a particularly close relationship with his younger sister Pegeen. Shirley said she and Pegeen were in high school orchestra together, and that Scott-Cohen would often ask Shirley how his sister, who played the viola, was progressing in her musical abilities.
“He would always attend the orchestra concerts,” Shirley said. “He cared a lot for his sister.”
Scott-Cohen excelled at both school and athletics, Trujillo said, and displayed a remarkable amount of enthusiasm, both on his track team and in his classes.
“He was always on the ball in class and he always had something to say,” he said. “He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind in that setting, which is really awesome. He really took opportunities in his academics to show himself and express himself to other people. That’s something that I always admired about him.”
In high school, Soche said, he and Scott-Cohen made several video projects for a history class they were in together. These experiences helped Soche get a feel for Scott-Cohen’s sense of humor and helped solidify the pair’s friendship.
“There was one (video) where he played a Russian guy,” he said. “And we made a talk show and he was in the commercials … It was just fun.”
Soche said Scott-Cohen’s distinct personality made an impression on everyone with whom he came in contact.
“When I introduce a friend of mine to another friend, and someone mentions that person later they’ll refer to them as ‘Juan’s friend,’” he said. “But if someone meets Wolf and later on Wolf comes up they’ll say ‘Wolf, that funny guy’ or ‘Wolf, that smart guy.’ He just has that impression where you wouldn’t associate him with how you know him, but who he is.”
Although most of his family could not be reached for comment, Pegeen wrote in a text message that Scott-Cohen was a great big brother whom she will sorely miss.
“I loved him dearly,” she wrote. “Go Lobos. Go Wolf.”