Wallace Andrew Scott died peacefully at home Saturday, September 12, 2015. With his passing we have lost a loving and kind patriarch and the accumulated wisdom of a century-long life.
Wally was a member of Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon and an associate member of First Lutheran Church in Mitchell.
Wally was born October 22, 1915 the third of four children to Lewis Emmanuel and Clara (Emerson) Scott in Storla, South Dakota. Also near that time his father moved his family to nearby Mt. Vernon where he founded Scott Supply Company, an early supplier of International Harvester machinery, Buick automobiles, and a wide arrangement of other supplies that kept a prairie town prospering. Wally would have celebrated his 100th birthday next month, and this year Scott Supply was deemed a Centennial Business. He was planning his birthday party the night he passed.
Wally was a living link to South Dakota’s immigrant homesteaders. He grew up hearing the strong accents of Danish and Norwegian grandparents along with other nationalities that settled and prospered in South Dakota after the Homestead Act.
His mind remained sharp, and he made history live with stories from the Great Depression and subsequent decades. Wally helped us imagine what it was like to grow up in a young, tiny, and isolated prairie settlement, when trains, horse-drawn buggies, and earliest automobiles were the only ways in and out, and before telephones, radio, television, and computers enabled links to the outside world.
Wally graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in 1933 and completed two years at South Dakota State College where he was on the ROTC Crack Drill Squad and worked in the zoology and poultry departments. In 1936 he returned to farm northeast of Mt. Vernon.
Wally and Gladys Schlund were united in marriage on October 2, 1942 at Salem Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon, after early fishing dates at the Tjompsland Dam on Firesteel Creek. Gladys taught country school at the time so they were married during Corn Palace Week when children were on vacation.
Half of Wally’s lifetime was spent as a main street businessman in Mt. Vernon. He served the community as a member of the city council, Fire Department, and Board of Farmers and Merchants Telephone. He was proud to be mayor when Mt. Vernon celebrated its Diamond Jubilee of 75 years.
In 1961, Wally and Gladys relocated Scott Supply to nearby Mitchell. Their main line became Case IH. Wally’s motto was, “Serve the customer,” and he served four generations during his lifetime.
Pheasant hunting season was an annual family event when family members, spouses and progeny gathered together. Wally was a lifelong hunter and bagged pheasants beyond his 98th year. Each fall, he proudly showed off his first, 1932 hunting license. His shotgun, purchased when he was sixteen and used throughout his life, was a model 1912 Winchester pump.
Since his early farming days, Wally maintained a small herd of Herefords and continued to do so after his 1980 retirement. Through the summer of 2014, he was a familiar figure on his rider lawnmower maintaining the Scott Supply grounds. He was an avid amateur photographer of people and events. Within a short time after snapping photos, he would process them on his home printer and deliver to friends and family. Determined to be in on the electronic age, Wally maintained email connections with family and friends, and the Internet replaced his encyclopedia as a quick reference for history and political issues.
His children and grandchildren often heard advice, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” or, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” When visiting his pasture and Enemy Creek south of Mt. Vernon, Wally would recite the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….”
He would often recite the opening lines of poems memorized in school, like Thanatopsis, by William Cullen Bryant, “O him who in the love of Nature holds, Communion with her visible forms, she speaks a various language…;” or Tennyson’s Crossing the Bar. “Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea.”
Left to share Wally’s memory are his six children: Robert (Sharon), Marjorie Goldhammer (Delmar), Janet, and John (Debra) all of Mitchell and Mary Ellen Connelly (Paul) and Joan Cannon (Pat) of Sioux Falls; 13 grandchildren: Chris (Tehra), Dave (Bryn), Nick (Kara) and Rob (Jolene) Scott; Alex (Mandra) and Sam (Shelley) Connelly, Liz (Matt) Satter, Suzie (David) Munce, and Maggie (Jeff) Oliver; Sara (Emiel) Gregor and Patrick Cannon; Mike (Nicole) Scott and Kara (Nick) Shawd; 25 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Wally was preceded in death by his wife Gladys, great granddaughter Elle, his parents, sisters and brothers-in-law Marian (Scott) and Clyde Taplin and Lila (Scott) and Kenneth Walker, and brother Milton.
The family expresses many thanks for the kindhearted care of Pastor Mindy Ehrke and Dr. Lucio Margallo and the wonderful caregivers through the Avera Hospice and Home Health program.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Davison County Historical Society, Dakota Discovery Museum, Salvation Army, Avera Hospice, Mt. Vernon Salem Lutheran Church and Mitchell First Lutheran Church.
Register online at www.bittnerfuneralchapel.net