Obituary for Richard Scott
Long-time Andrews employee
Richard Lee Scott, 75, passed away peacefully at his home in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on Friday, July 12, after a long struggle with ALS. Dick served Andrews University twice during his career, first as dean of men from 1972–1984 and then in Plant Services and Plant Administration from 1992–2014, when he retired as director of facilities management for the University. He is survived by his wife, Dixie (Beardsley) Scott (retired staff), daughter Shelley Bolin, a financial advisor in Student Financial Services, and son William Scott, PT clinical education coordinator in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences (former Department of Physical Therapy).
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 19, at the Howard Performing Arts Center on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, with Pastor Dwight K. Nelson of Pioneer Memorial Church officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 10 a.m. until service time, and to leave online messages and memories at www.allredfuneralhome.com or below in the Andrews Agenda Comments section. Memorials may be made to the Worthy Student Fund at Andrews University or to the ALS Foundation.
Richard Lee Scott was born on Jan. 26, 1944, in St. Louis, Michigan. He was the only son of William and Imogene (Millner) Scott. In birth order, he was “sandwiched” between two sisters, Kay and Patricia Ann.
With the exception of living in the Detroit area (Dearborn) for the first year or two of his life, Dick spent his idyllic childhood as a Michigan country boy. He lived in a cottage in the woods next door to his maternal grandparents and within walking distance of Higgins Lake. The nearest town, Roscommon, was a one-stoplight town. His carpenter father taught him skills that laid a good foundation for his future work in building maintenance and in the oversight of building buildings. His father grew up as a passionate fisherman in Wisconsin, and he passed that lifelong passion on to Dick.
He attended public elementary school at Gerrish Higgins Elementary School in Roscommon. Dick was an active Cub Scout and Boy Scout. Even though his parents met at Cedar Lake Academy, they were not practicing Seventh-day Adventists once they moved to Higgins Lake. They moved during the Depression. The nearest Seventh-day Adventist church in Gaylord was too far away to travel to because of gas rationing. However, Dick shared that there was never a time in his life when he didn’t believe in God. In fact, he remembers how angry he was with God when his beloved paternal grandfather died when he was 8 years old.
Six years later, having just turned 14, there was another significant death in the family that would impact his life forever. After battling cancer for several years, his father succumbed in February of 1958 at the age of 37. During the latter part of his battle, Dick’s father asked that contact be made with the Houghton Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church. Bible studies were begun with the family, and his father requested that his three children be sent to Cedar Lake Academy. On May 31, 1958, he gave his heart to the Lord in baptism.
Dick graduated from Cedar Lake Academy and then came to Andrews University. While a student at Andrews, Dick began dating Dixie Lee Beardsley, a former classmate from Cedar Lake Academy. They were married on August 23, 1964, in Gobles, Michigan.
Dick received his Bachelor of Arts in physical education from Andrews University in 1967. Shortly after graduating, he served the Cedar Lake Church School in Cedar Lake, Michigan, where he taught physical education to grades four through six. He then served at Cedar Lake Academy for four years as dean of boys and teacher before joining the Andrews University staff in 1972. While living in Cedar Lake, Dick and Dixie welcomed two children into their lives, Michelle Lee, born April 20, 1969, and William Lee, born June 16, 1970.
After his experience as dean at Cedar Lake, he was called to return to his alma mater. He served his first year as assistant dean in Burman Hall, followed by his promotion to dean of men at Meier Hall and director of residence halls. Dixie and he dedicated themselves to mentoring and improving the lives of young men on campus for the next 12 years.
In 1984, both Dick and Dixie were offered positions at Camp Au Sable in Grayling, Michigan. They accepted the offers, and he left Andrews to work as an assistant manager of the Michigan Conference’s flagship summer camp.
Dick returned to Andrews for a final time in January 1992, when he was offered the position of manager of Plant Services, a position that allowed him to manage some of the biggest construction and renovation projects of recent time, including the new University entrance, renovations of Dining Services and Nethery Hall, and construction of Buller and Damazo Halls, among others.
Dick became director of facilities management in 2005, a position he held until retirement. Over the course of his tenure at Andrews University, he particularly appreciated the lasting relationships he built as a result of the 35 years he served Andrews University and the Berrien Springs community. At his retirement in 2014 he had served the Seventh-day Adventist denomination for almost five decades. He continued to volunteer at Transportation and Architecture after his retirement, as his health allowed.
In 2015 Dick was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was an inspiration to many as he faithfully continued to attend weekly church services at Pioneer Memorial Church, where he was a member for almost 40 years.
Dick was a devoted family man and loved spending time with his four grandchildren. He was also an avid golfer and fishing enthusiast, making an annual fishing trip to Canada with long-time friends Gerry Herdman, Jerry Metzger, Ray Hamblin and John Pangman for many years.
Dick passed away peacefully at his home in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on Friday, July 12, 2019.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Dixie Beardsley Scott; two adult children, daughter Shelley Bolin and her husband Duane, and son William Scott; four grandchildren, Kaitlyn Marie Rigg, Matthew Scott Rigg, Brooke Ashlyn Scott, and Connor William Scott; and his sister Kay Nelson.
He was predeceased by his father in 1958, his mother in 2012, and his sister Patricia Ann Bowen in 2018.