Willie “Jake” Scott, 97 of Benton Harbor Michigan went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, April 26, 2020 at The Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville. Due to the current health visiting regulations his family surrounded him days and nights outside his window with one family member inside. On Sunday, his window was opened and he knew we were by his side and heard our prayers. The birds were chirping, the sun was shinning and he was welcomed home with God's bright presence shinning on his face.
Willie was born on September 27th, 1922 in Waterloo, Alabama, the son of the late Charlie and Fannie Scott. On April 17th, 1946 he married Emma Lee Gray, recently celebrating 74 years together. They raised three children, Chuck (Linda) Scott of Benton Harbor, John, deceased (Debbie) Scott of Florence, Alabama and Linda (Chip) Cramer of Stevensville. Willie had seven (one deceased) grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren with one expected around his birthday in September 2020.
Willie retired from Auto Specialties Manufacturing Company in 1978 with 35 years of employment. He was very influential and effective with the UAW negotiations and contract settlements. Always working toward better working conditions, wages and benefit packages for the blue collar workers.
After retiring from Auto's, Willie decided to get actively involved with local politics. He always had an interest in politics and had a very colorful career as a public servant for 14 years in Benton Charter Township. He served as the Township Clerk and up until recently was available and called upon by many for his opinion and advise, which he loved to do. He remained active in the community politically and loved when people would stop over to see him and talk about politics. He never failed to remind his family of the privilege to vote. And, to never take God and Country for granted. After retiring from Benton Charter Township, Willie decided it would be fun to be a Walmart Greeter which he more than quilified to perform. He loved to work and be with people. He worked until his health prevented him from performing his duties and then completely retired at the age of 80.
Willie attended the First Church of God and The Blue Roof Senior Group up until his health started to decline. He read his Bible daily and sometimes fell asleep with it. His faith in God was clearly evident and he witnessed that faith to everyone. Willie loved to grow a garden for the mere purpose of giving it all away to friends and family. He loved to see his friends and family as often as he could. He always had a joke or a story to tell. When he could no longer get out he would call on the phone, just to tell you another story or another joke. His stories were long and sometimes they changed but he always made it seem like the first time he told you. He taught us to not take life for granted. He taught us to work hard and always give back to the community. To always have a voice and to stand up for what we believe in. He taught us to be faithful to God and to find our strength in him. He never met a stranger and talked to everyone. He was proud of his family and told everyone he met about his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved sports and made sure everyone knew his Alabama Teams were the Best. One of his favorite lines to say when you would ask him how he is was doing was,“Not bad for an old man”.
A private family gathering will be held and a public memorial service announced at a later date. His final resting place will be at Hickory Bluff in Stevensville. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks and Menchinger of St Joseph. Memorial contributions may be given to The Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.
A special thank you to Lakeland Home Care Nurses ( Chanon, Diane and Lolly), Lakeland Wound Clinic in St Joseph and Niles (Dr Gary Witucki, Krista Schulte, NP, all the nurses at both locations.) Hospice at Home nurse (Michelle). And in his last week of life, The Hanson Center, the nursing staff and Dr Beckrow who gave him compassionate care. They supported us and made us feel like family even with the current visiting status. They saw us through some difficult days and unprecedent circumstances and we are forever grateful.
Lastly, we want to thank dad's faithful and committed caregiver from ComforHome for over 6 months, (Chris). He was more than a caregiver, he was dad's friend and we were so blessed to have him.
We're not saying goodbye we're saying see you soon dad. Your absence here on earth will definetly leave an empty quietness that we will struggle to adjust to but we know you will be watching over us and we will always feel your love and presence.
Survivors include his wife Emma Lee Scott, son Chuck (Linda) Scott and daughter Linda (Chip) Cramer. Grandchildren, Kim (Oni) Wurth, Kevin (Sarah) Scott, Lisa (Jason) Holok, Teresa Cramer (Jeff) Reining, Courtney Scott, John (Angie) Scott and 10 great-grandchildren. Many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents, son (John), granddaughter ( Amanda), three brothers, James, Dudley and Bedford Scott.
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