Military Rites and Time of Sharing Memories
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Life Story / Obituary
With unending love and devotion to both his family and his country, James Scott made a significant impact in the lives of so many. He worked hard in everything he did, but he took the time to enjoy life along the way. Jim was never one to shy away from speaking his mind, yet he did so with the best interests of others at heart. Social and outgoing, he was the sort of person who was a friend for life. Although he will be deeply missed, Scotty leaves behind a priceless legacy that his friends and loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
Although the 1930s were primarily clouded by the dark days of the Great Depression, the American spirit could still be seen in the celebration of the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the completion of the Empire State Building. Although the challenges were many, cities, communities, and families came together to weather the storm however they could. Despite the trials of the day, Harold and Mildred (Mueller) Scott were focused on a time of great celebration in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named James Harold on December 10, 1933, in Des Moines, Iowa. He was the second of five children as he was joined in his family by his brothers, Raymond, Jack, and Ron, and his younger sister, Nancy.
In many ways Jim was a typical young boy of his generation. He was a bight kid who had a natural gift with numbers and organization, but he couldn’t be described as studious. From a young age Jim was much more interested in being social and outgoing, and he was also known to get into his fair share of mischief with his brothers. He attended local schools where he was on the wrestling team. When he was 18, Scotty was eager for all that life had in store. He enlisted in the Marines, following in the footsteps of his cousin. After completing his basic training in San Diego, Jim was stationed in Philadelphia.
While in Philadelphia, life became very exciting for Jim. He attended a USO dance one fateful evening when he met the young woman who would forever hold the key to his heart. Her name was Henrietta, and as their two groups of friends spent time together Scotty and Henrietta couldn’t help but notice one another. They soon began dating, and the rest is history as they say. About 18 months later, Jim and Henrietta were married on June 11, 1955. The newlyweds them took a honeymoon up in New York, seeing the sights in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
There was nothing Jim treasured more than his loved ones. Together he and his wife were blessed with the births of their two daughters, Debbie and Lenore. However, before Lenore was born, he was deployed to Okinawa. Upon returning to the states, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and the family moved with him. After seven years, Scotty was deployed again to Okinawa, during which time Henrietta returned to Philadelphia with their two daughters. Once he returned home, they soon made their way to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Jim served at the reserve station. Knowing this is where they wanted to put roots down, Scotty and his wife bought their first home together on Fountain Street, and they would spend many years raising their family in this home. As a father Jim had high expectations for his daughters and could even be called strict, but his girls strived for greatness. Although he wasn’t overly affectionate, the girls certainly knew that they were loved and was there for them whenever they needed something - usually given with an accompanying lecture! Scotty modeled a strong work ethic and the value of hard work and discipline. As a family they did some traveling, often to visit family in Philadelphia and California.
After 20 years in the service the time came for Jim to retire as he would be faced with yet another move and deployment if he remained in the military. Throughout his time in the service he was a supply chief who earned the rank of Master Sergeant. Jim then worked in a few different jobs including as a bartender and then managing Wengers Bowling Center. In time, he found the right job that fit his skill set at Model Die. There, he used his organizational skills to bring order to the shipping and receiving area. It has been said that Jim was also very OCD at home as everything had its place.
Throughout his life Jim made the most of the days he was given. He was an avid golfer who even had a hole in one under his belt. He and Henrietta enjoyed an annual golf trip with his company, and during the winter months Jim enjoyed bowling. Through his involvement in both sports, he made several friends over the years. He collected commemorative coins, usually purchasing not only for himself, but a set for his girls as well. They often joked about the real value of those coin sets.
Once their kids were older, Scotty and his wife moved one final time as they settled into a condo on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids. Of course he put his conversational skills to good use making many friends in his new surroundings. As someone with strong opinions, he always knew how to speak his mind when it came to things he was passionate about. Jim didn’t really have many hobbies around the house, but he he did enjoy watching sports on television and treasured the companionship of his cats. He usually leaned towards being out and being social, frequenting places like Pete Browns and Our Tavern. When his grandson was born, Jim thrived in his role as a grandfather. Although he was a bit softer, Jim was still firm in directing his grandson. During this later years, he had a fierce battle as he suffered the effects of dementia.
All who knew James Scott would agree that his was fun-loving, outgoing, and a friend to many. He used his gifts and talents to give everything he did his very best, and he willingly served others in ways both great and small. Scotty was happiest when surrounded by his friends and loved ones, and he found joy in even the simple things. Life will never be the same without him here, but Scotty will be forever missed by all who were blessed to know and love him.
Jim “Scotty” Scott, age 88, passed away on November 28, 2022. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Henrietta; their children Debbie (Tim) Leer and Lenore Martin; grandson Todd James (Katie) Martin; sisters-in-law Ellen Scott, Charlotte (Clyde) Chaffin, Ruthann Ryan, and Barbara (Michael) Mash; as well as several nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his brothers, Raymond, Jack and Ron; and by his sister, Nancy Kavin.
His family will greet friends on Thursday, December 8 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, from 3-5 PM with Military Rites and a time for sharing memories to begin at 5 PM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Humane Society of Western Michigan are appreciated. To read more about Jim, to share a memory or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com