Robert Falcon Scott died on January 14, 2017. He was 94 years old. He was born in Chicago on September 5, 1922, but he grew up in rural New England. Those early years of unlimited hunting, fishing, farm and orchard work pushed him towards a career in the outdoor sciences and a life long devotion to wildlife conservation. At 16 he applied to and was accepted to the University of Maine, School of Forestry where he also was enrolled in the ROTC program.
He served in the army during WWII and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska where he met his wife Rita who was serving in the Red Cross. After the war, while working on his MS degree and a two-year fellowship at Oregon State College, he and Rita were the sole residents of Eliza Island off the south tip of Lummi Island.
After living many places around the world, that experience brought them back to the San Juans. He moved to Alaska. There he worked for the Fish and Wildlife service, was the leader of the Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Alaska and taught Wildlife Management and Population dynamics. All four of his children were born there. After leaving Alaska, he moved to Maryland. He began working as a wildlife biologist at the Patuxent Research Center, then moved on to a long career at the Department of the Interior. He worked for the National Marine Fisheries services and was later appointed chief for the Division of Wildlife refuges.
After retiring from the Interior department he learned to speak French and moved to Gland, Switzerland where he served as Chief Executive Officer for the Survival Services Commission, part of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
He and Rita spent the next seven years traveling having many interesting adventures around the world. They returned to the San Juans and built a small home in Deer Harbor. Bob is survived by three of his children; Peter of Juneau AK, Ellen of Orcas Island, Kristin and two grandchildren Nicholas and Michelle of California. If you knew Bob and would like to remember him, a donation to the library or Chamber Music Festival would honor his memory.
As the late Robert Frost shared in his poem: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.”