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Dr. Willis E. Scott
May 13, 1922 ~ Nov. 23, 2007
Dr. Willis E. Scott, (“Doc‚“ “Scotty‚“ “Will‚“ “Bill”) passed away peacefully in his home Nov. 23, 2007, surrounded by his three children, Pam Scott, Pat Torres and Scott Scott, and his niece Kim Lacy. He is also survived by his brother, Don (“Bus”) Scott and five grandchildren.
Doc Scott was born at Fortress Monroe, Va., May 13, 1922, to John L. and Dorothy Donnell Scott. His dad was in the Army and so the family moved many times during the course of his childhood. An active willowy kid, he was known to be impetuous, often saying exactly what he’d been told not to. He was a Boy Scout, along with his two brothers, “Bus” and John. As kids, their mother would take the three of them to the Donnell family farm in Maine, where they would swim in the ocean and play endlessly in the orchards. Those times in Maine remained some of his fondest memories.
He attended high school in Catonsville, Md., where he met some of his lifelong friends. The family was transferred to Elmhurst, Ill., where he and Bus attended Elmhurst College before World War II and their military service began. He was selected to be in the Army Special Training Program and Doc attended Texas A&M and Ohio State universities before being accepted to Saint Louis University School of Dentistry. He began his career in dentistry with military service during the Korean War, first at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver and then on Okinowa, Japan. He met Jean Barrett at Fitzsimmons and courted and married her just before his military duty was completed, in 1952. They moved to Meeker, Colo., where Doc opened his first private practice. Their daughter, Pam, was born in June 1953, and then, in August 1956, the twins, Pat and Scott, were born.
“Scotty” and Jean bought the Rio Theater and the house next to it after the twins were born and operated it until 1969. In about 1959, he opened another dental office in Craig, Colo., and split his time between Meeker and Craig for the next 10 years. During that time, he helped Jean and her mother, Dorothy Barrett, stage the Meeker Massacre every year at the Fourth of July Celebration, was involved with Jean and the children in competitive swimming, known as the “colorful” starter, dubbed “High ole, Silver” at the swim meets all over the western slope of Colorado, and was also involved in Curtain Call, a community theater group in Meeker, organized by Dorothy Barrett, becoming known for his roles as the Ghost of Christmas Past and George in “Our Town.”
In 1969, he and the family moved to Lakewood, Colo., where Doc practiced dentistry until he retired in the early 1980s. In his retirement, he drove a shuttle bus from west Denver to the airport and “spread good cheer,” as he would say, to all the travelers. During his last years, he lived comfortably in Lakewood, visiting his brother, Bus, for extended periods in Dallas, visits he cherished.
A memorial event will be held to celebrate his life July 19, 2008, at 1709 Glen Ayr Drive in Lakewood, Colo., 80215. Visitors are welcome at 11 a.m. with a short ceremony at 2 p.m. There will be a barbecue feast in his honor!