James Harlan Scott III
In the wee hours of January 22, 1976, it was a foggy night in Orem. When Crystal was sure she was in labor, she woke Jim (from a dead sleep) to tell him “it’s time”, and he rolled over and went back to sleep. Somewhat annoyed, she convinced him to get up. They woke Grandma Hotchkiss and made the 1 ½ hour white knuckle drive to Ogden in the thick fog.
James was born less than an hour later, 22 ½ inches long and 9 lbs. 4 oz. He was a good, contented baby and a precocious child. He loved to sing songs and was early on everything from colors, numbers and animals to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before he was two. Really!
He tested gifted at five and was a helper for each new sibling. Matt, then Becky, then Rachel who came home from the hospital to our solar home we built in West Warren, Utah. He loved living in the country where he rode horses and went to Country Corner for banana bars (Creamies).
His dad graduated from Weber State College through Army ROTC, so the family moved to Fort Huachuca, Arizona where James took classes in arts and crafts, swimming, soccer and basketball. He also got an Atari 2600 and a Commodore 64 computer.
His family moved to California – the Los Angeles area called South Bay, first in San Pedro where you could hear the low horns of the ships carrying containers to be unloaded in Long Beach. Then Torrance where they lived a mile from Redondo Beach. He began to collect cassette tapes and loved music.
He talked about riding his bike home as quick as he could every day to see if “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard was still #1. Magic Mountain was his favorite amusement park and he started his first job delivering papers.
His dad would drive him around in the Toyota van and he could stand in the open sun roof and throw papers right and left with great accuracy. His dad would occasionally tap the brakes mid-throw for good measure.
He also continued scouting there, going to Lake Arrowhead scout camp in the summer, weaving, swimming and learning to shoot. He once won a trophy for being “top shot” for his excellent marksmanship.
Later in Arizona he was awarded his Eagle Scout award the same day as his brother Matt. In Arizona he made great friends and learned to love rock climbing, water skiing and volleyball. He played church ball and never lived down making a basket for the wrong team. He loved scout trips to Lake Powell.
Summers would also bring a trip home to Grandma Scott’s in West Point, Utah, his favorite place to visit. Fresh grown peaches, tomatoes, grapes, plums, and apricots - he loved fresh fruit.
At Dobson High School he learned to use a potter’s wheel and made several beautiful pieces, his favorite ones using a Japanese technique called Raku. Ironic since only a few years later he received his mission call to Nagoya Japan. His 6’5” stature was both a curiosity and intimidating to the petite Japanese people. He took his own bike over because he knew he would never find one there to fit him.
He did a lot of volunteer work at an orphanage, made a lot of dear friends, and had some great successes. He not only spoke Japanese fluently, he practiced his Kanji and writing technique and could read and write Japanese. He loved the peaceful landscapes, and the changing of the seasons that brought orange leaves, beautiful snow and oh, the fragrant cherry blossoms.
After returning home, he put his new language to use as a tour guide for Japanese groups. He would drive a small tour bus from Phoenix up to the Grand Canyon then through the Navajo Reservation then up to Monument Valley and Southern Utah Red Rock country. His love for Moab and southern Utah continued on. He was good at talking to people and putting them at ease – often his tips from tour guiding would be nearly as much as his pay check. He had some tourists once from Alaska who were of Eskimo descent, and he bragged that he once really did sell ice to an Eskimo!
He put these skills to use in several jobs:
Waiter at Olive Garden
He liked to work Sundance where he drove celebrities such as Kurt Russel & Goldie Hawn, and Minnie Driver.
He always bragged that he worked at the very first Cold Stone Creamery when there was only one (the owners were in his ward in Chandler). But he was most proud of his Pipe Fitters Union card and his job in a pipe yard. He was once hired to be a liaison on a big project for some Japanese business men.
He also spent several summers in Chicago – another happy place for him where he installed security alarm systems. He loved the music scene, the blues festivals, the polish sausage carts and the Chicago Cubs. He was over the moon and literally ran around the house with his hands in the air when they won the pennant.
Some other things you may not know about Chief.
He was an amateur chef and knew cheeses, oils and vinegars from all over the world.
He had great respect for professional grade knives.
He loved the finer things in life.
While convalescing from his recent surgeries he viewed the whole Netflix video catalog - twice.
Koda – his Doberman
He was a bargain hunter extraordinaire. He always watched for things someone else could use.
He learned hula for a while and enjoyed watching it.
He liked documentaries and shows like “how it’s made” and his mind was so full of useless facts. You definitely wanted him on your trivial pursuit team.
He was generous to a fault and would give people a whole day of his time.
He has a huge collection of T-shirts because he had to buy one at every concert. Field Report, Milk Carton Kids, James Taylor, BB King to name a few.
His biggest love was his grandma Mada, who taught him to make popcorn cakes at Christmas, and who sent him a letter or card of encouragement every week, which he kept. His other great loves were his nieces and nephews, Matt’s twins, Jake and Luke, Rachels kids, Jayden, Jensyn and Keegan, and Becky’s twins Lizzy and Olivia, and especially – the Calder Dude!
James will be remembered for being smart, funny, talented, confident, generous and kind, and he will be sorely missed and never forgotten.
Funeral services will be Saturday August 4th, 2018, at 11:00 AM preceded by a viewing at 9:00 AM at 125 Chapel Street, Layton UT.
The Scott family has commissioned a sketch portrait of James by Chad Hawkins. In lieu of flowers, an option would be to contribute toward the art work.
The Scott family wishes to express their gratitude to Scott Walker, James’ home health nurse, and also to the Ogden Wound Care Clinic for their kind and professional care.
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