Joseph Scott, 71, of Ocean View, Del., passed away Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md., after an extended illness. Scott was born March 28, 1945, in Bronx, N.Y., the son of Alvin F. Scott and Ann (Tafe) Scott.
Scott lived in Harrington Park, N.J., before moving to Delaware. He received his bachelor’s degree from the then-William Paterson College, in Paterson, N.J., and completed his master’s degree at the age of 68 at the University of Delaware.
Writing was at the core of Scott’s existence for most of his life. A widely published journalist, his credits included articles in consumer magazines, such as New York and Good Housekeeping; airline magazines, such as American Way and Pan Am Clipper; and local area publications, such as Delmarva Quarterly and Delaware Beach Life, among many others. More of his writing can be viewed online at josephscottauthor.com.
His decades-long writing career included a collaboration with best-selling mystery novelist Donald Bain. Bain said of the experience and the friendship that developed, “Joe was a bigger-than-life guy. I treasure having known him.”
Scott was also author of the memoir “Hello, Joe,” which he described as a story that followed him through “a serious concussion, a knife fight, a bar fight in Hell’s Kitchen, a year in Vietnam, a two-year broken neck, incredible car wrecks, lions in Tanzania, bears in the Yukon and two surgeries that nearly left him behind.”
However, all those experiences combined to create “a witnessing tool to give to those who might be inspired by the story of how God worked through one man’s life for decades before putting him into the job for which he was born.” That job was teaching students at Delmarva Christian High School the joys of writing and reading the best the language had to offer, in the light of a Christian worldview.
His collection of short stories, “Settlin’ In,” set on the Delmarva Peninsula over a timeline from its earliest colonial period to the present, will be available in spring of 2017 on Amazon.com. “If you live in the area, the collection is a must read,” said the writer Tony Tedeschi. “If you appreciate writing at its finest, also a must.”
A long-time friend, collaborator and business partner, Tedeschi has said of Scott, “He was the embodiment of character. Beginning very early in our friendship, I knew with absolute certainty that Joe was the man you’d want in the foxhole with you. There was just no way he would not have your back.”
“He filled a room,” said the writer Ken Taylor, another of Scott’s long-time friends and colleagues. “It is empty now.”
One of his former students, Alexandria Morris, said, “He was my teacher for only one year, but he shaped who I wanted to be and the impact I wanted to create in the world. He was an amazing, one-of-a-kind true gentleman who has been an inspiration to me and countless others. He is the reason I became an English teacher. I am now a professor with two master’s degrees and only three classes away from my Ph.D. — all stemming from the encouragement of Mr. Scott.”
Another of Scott’s passions was fishing — fly-fishing, surf-fishing, deep-sea fishing — he loved it all. While he was fortunate to fish in some of the greatest spots in the world, he loved New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Joe Hackett, a friend and owner of the Tahawus guide service in the mountains, said, “Without Joe’s kind assistance and sound advice, I would never have succeeded in this field. Let it be said that he was one heck of a guy, a man’s man, an old-school gentlemen and forever a gentle man at heart. Most of all, I hope he continues to practice the ‘catch-and-release’ ethic on those great trout streams in the sky. Otherwise, there will be no fish for me.”
Scott was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas. He is survived by his loving wife, Priscilla; a sister, Susan Scott Schoenbach and her husband, Alan; a brother, Gregory Scott; his son, Ian, and his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Peyton, MacKinley and Ava; a daughter, Kieran Viola, and her husband, Matthew, and their children, Brady and Will; and another daughter, Erin Scott.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, with visitation at 11 a.m. and service at noon at Mariners Bethel United Methodist Church, 81 Central Avenue, Ocean View, Del. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Delmarva Christian High School; 21777 Sussex Pines Rd.; Georgetown, DE 19947.