Taps played for the last time on August 1, 2020 for Ltc. (ret.) James MacKenzie Scott, as his fight with metastatic prostate cancer mercifully ended. Jim was a devoted husband, loving father, dedicated brother, and loyal friend, who served his country as a career military officer.
Born on March 26, 1936 to the late William and Florence Mackenzie Scott, Jim’s mother died when he was young. Thankfully his father later fell in love with a vibrant, young Army nurse named Katharine “Kitty” Hayward and they married in 1942. The family later grew to include Jim’s brother Richard in 1944, and his sister Virginia in 1947.
During his formative years, he earned the Boy Scouts’ highest rank of Eagle Scout and membership into the scouting national honor society, the Order of the Arrow. Jim attended North Plainfield High School, forging friendships there that sustained throughout his life. After graduating in 1954, he attended The Citadel in Charleston, SC, where he earned membership into Tau Beta Pi, the nation’s oldest engineering honor society and awarded a spot in the Citadel’s Honor Company.
When Jim graduated from his beloved Citadel in 1958, he embarked on a military journey that would take him around the globe and introduce him to friends who, over the coming decades, would provide brotherhood, friendship, and love despite the time and distance between them.
His accomplishments during his decorated career included: attending the Army’s Engineer Officer Course; earning his jump wings at the Basic Airborne Course; completing the Atomic Demolition Munition course; earning his master’s degree in industrial engineering & economics from Stanford University; completing the Engineer Officers Career Course; and serving two tours in Vietnam.
While stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, he met and fell in love with Peace Corps volunteer Barbara Nelson McKenzie. After a whirlwind romance, they were married in Laurinburg, NC in 1969. While stationed in Ft. Belvoir, VA they welcomed their first daughter, Margaret Shuford. The young family moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico where Jim was stationed as district engineer for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In 1975, they welcomed their second daughter, Katharine Anne.
From Puerto Rico, the family moved to Fairfax, VA so Jim could work at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. After serving 20 years in the military, he retired in 1978 and the family moved to Blowing Rock, NC. There they were active at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church where Jim served as an elder. He volunteered on several town council committees, and he and Barbara founded Stonehaven, a local real estate company.
The family moved Charlotte in 1985 where Jim worked for Associated General Contractors, and then they moved to Greensboro in 1989, where Jim worked for NC Monroe Construction. In Greensboro, he and Barbara were active at First Presbyterian Church; enjoyed local and touring productions of Broadway and other musicals, plays, and concerts; and spent many cooler weekends back up in Blowing Rock.
Jim was recognized throughout his life with both military and civilian accolades. He earned both the Army Legion of Merit award and the Army Bronze Star medal, and numerous civilian commendations for his volunteer and disaster work with the Federal Emergency Management Association and the American Red Cross. But his desire to simply sit across a table for a meaningful exchange created the most lasting impressions on family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Barbara; his daughters, Margaret (Jamie Lawrence and their son Gavin) and Kathy (Abe Rummage and their sons Brodie and Mack); his brother, Richard (Mary Ann Scott); his sister, Virginia (Rick Gross); and sister-in-law, Anne McKenzie.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kenneth W. Poe Funeral and Cremation Service. Jim’s ashes will be interred during a private service with his immediate family at Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock, NC. The family will hold a celebration of Jim’s life in the coming months, when family and friends are able to safely travel and gather.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to The Citadel Foundation or Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region. Consider sharing your favorite memories of Jim with his family at www.KennethPoeServices.com/obituaries.