Father, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband, veteran, sportsman, manager, neighbour, gentleman. Born July 8, 1920, in Perth, Ont. Died April 19, 2011, in Perth of complications of old age, at 90.
Born to James and Ethel Scott, Jack was raised with two brothers and two sisters on the family farm called Maple Hall, near DeWitts Corners, Ont. Chores were a fact of farm life, from milking the cows by hand to keeping the woodbox full of firewood to harvesting crops and feeding the farm animals.
During the summer haying season when Jack was 13, his father was stacking hay in the barn when the trip rope broke on the loading fork. His father fell backward off the load and broke his neck. His mother was left with five children to raise; his older brother Bill became the man of the house at 17.
After graduating from Perth Collegiate Institute and working on the farm with Bill, Jack attended the Galt air training school as a 20-year-old to learn the sheet metal trade. When the course ended, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and in late 1941 volunteered to go overseas with 413 Squadron.
Jack served initially in the Shetland Islands, where the squadron flew Catalina flying boats on patrols over the North Atlantic. In 1942, they were transferred to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), where the aircraft patrolled the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal for enemy navy ships and submarines.
As the tallest airframe mechanic, one of Jack’s many assignments was to assist in the beaching of the Catalinas. He probably never resolved whether it was “more desirable” to be wading into the cold waters of the North Atlantic in the windswept, desolate Shetlands, or into the snake-infested waters in Ceylon’s blistering heat.
In mid-1945, Jack was discharged from the RCAF and enrolled in a school in Toronto sponsored by the farmers’ co-operative association. He returned to Perth, Ont., in 1946 as assistant manager of the Perth Co-op. He became manager in 1952 and, despite the headaches, enjoyed 31 years associated with the co-op business until his retirement.
Jack was always a great sportsman. While playing softball in Perth, he met one of the spectators, Mary Munro. They married in 1948 and had a lasting love of one another and their three sons, Bill, Doug and Alan. Jack and Mary enjoyed travelling to Europe and southern destinations, and visiting sons and family members and friends across Canada.
Jack retired in 1983 but kept active pursuing many endeavours, from golfing to volunteering to researching Scott family history to being a dedicated member of the St. Paul’s United Church choir.
After Mary died of leukemia in 1991, Jack met and married Keitha Kidd. They remained happily married until his death.
Jack was always a gentleman and epitomized the saying, “Still waters run deep.”
By Bill Scott, Doug Scott and Alan Scott, Jack’s sons.
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