George W. Scott Jr. died in his Keene home on March 27, 2021, of ALS. According to his wife, Charlotte Guyer, he had celebrated his 84th birthday with family and friends just two days earlier. Despite no longer being able to speak due to ALS, he used his twinkling eyes and facial expressions to offer up his classic humor during Zoom calls and birthday visits.
George was born in Columbus, Ohio, on March 25, 1937, to the late Louise Sherman Culp and George Watson Scott. After his parents divorced, he moved with his younger brother, Bob, and their mother to Coral Gables, Fla. He sold newspapers and bussed tables at restaurants to help support his family while completing high school and playing in the marching, concert and jazz bands. In a stretch, he applied to Princeton University and was accepted on scholarship, changing the course of his life and solidifying a lifelong love of Princeton.
After college, George worked for General Electric on the Apollo Project before earning an MBA from Harvard Business School. In 1967, he moved to Keene with his first wife, Kay Scott, to work for Markem. Though divorced in 1977, they raised four children together — Karen, Suzanne, David and Tim — each of whom graduated from Keene High School. During his 28-year career with Markem, George traveled the United States and the world to introduce customers to Markem’s printing machines, drawing on his unmatched ability to connect with anyone using charm, humor and impish insults.
During his job interview, George was told that he would be expected to contribute to the community if he came to work for Markem. It was a mandate that he fully embraced. Within months, he was serving on the board of the Keene Family YMCA. He helped rebuild their facility on Roxbury Street and, more recently, played a major role in the creation of the new YMCA on Summit Road. He served on the board of many community organizations, including Monadnock Family Services, The Woodward Home, Keene Public Library and Cheshire Medical Center. As part of fundraising campaigns, he built realistic models of proposed community buildings. After he retired in 1995, he helped launch MonadNet, an initiative backed by Keene State College and community leaders to bring Internet service to the Monadnock region.
For 17 years, George volunteered weekly at the Cheshire Medical Center Information Desk. To put patients at ease with humor, he gave those in wheelchairs the option of being pushed at 30, 50 or 70 mph (but required a signed waiver for over 50 mph). He believed strongly in the power of community, and took pride in knowing almost everyone in Keene, sometimes even stopping to jump out of his car and introduce himself to people he had not yet met.
George met Charlotte Guyer in 1981, which was the beginning of a loving relationship of nearly 40 years. Married in 1985, they both worked intense jobs for years before retiring to travel together and take classes, often spending months learning about a country (China, Italy) through Keene’s CALL and other classes before venturing there for a trip. They built a strong network of friends, joining book clubs and participating in exercise classes, where George was famous for wearing his Superman shirt.
He was incredibly proud of his four children, as well as his stepdaughters, Margaret and Jocelyn Guyer. He and Charlotte helped all of them through college. Along with tuition money, he used his boundless energy to help the six move into and out of an endless series of dorm rooms and apartments. Even after all of his children launched independent lives, he would drop everything to help during a crisis, offering money, love, support and his uncanny ability to use humor to ease the worst moments in life.
Throughout his life, George maintained his passion for music, playing clarinet well into his 80s in the Monadnock New Horizons Band. After retirement, he honed his skills as a master woodworker. Combining his love of family with his craft, he often built furniture to celebrate a wedding, birth or other life event. Known as “Gramps” by many, he took great pleasure in his grandchildren, and used his woodworking skills to make them toys and furniture.
In addition to his wife, Charlotte, George is survived by his children: Karen Trosset and Scott Trosset of Villanova, Pa.; Suzanne Scott and Keith Wilberg of Norwalk, Conn.; David Scott and Julianna Baggott of Newark, Del.; Timothy Scott and Robin Cusack of Portland, Ore.; and Charlotte’s children: Jocelyn Guyer and Josh Seidman of Bethesda, Md.; and Margaret Guyer and Constantine Bialik of Framingham, Mass. George is also survived by his brother, Robert Scott, and his wife, Dorey Scott; as well as his beloved grandchildren: Matthew, Jason and Allison Trosset; Phoebe, Finneas, Theo and Othilia Scott; Leo, Ben, Maggie and Julia Seidman; and Maya and Liza Bialik. He is predeceased by his former wife, Catherine (Kay) Shriver Scott.
During his final months with ALS, he was helped by an army of family, friends and caretakers, including Deb Hudson, Tammy Croteau and the ALS Association of Northern New England.
Although COVID-19 may prevent us from gathering in person for now to remember George, it cannot stop each of us from honoring him in our own way. Here are a few suggestions that George would love: Memorize a Robert Frost poem; practice a yoga headstand (George was an expert); play some music; make someone laugh; take time to acknowledge another human being by having a light-hearted conversation; or make a donation to the Keene Family YMCA.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 44 Maple Ave., Keene NH 03431 (www.cheshirefamilyfh.com).