Sons recall Scott's devotion to education

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The three Scott brothers would be lounging around, playing and watching TV, much like typical children, but one would always stand guard as a lookout.

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Friends and family exit the service held for Mr. Scott at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Thursday.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Friends and family exit the service held for Mr. Scott at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Thursday.

When the familiar sound of the Volkswagen was heard, the lookout would yell "red alert," and the brothers would snap to attention, all grabbing books and pretending to read, Merwyn Scott recalled Thursday during the funeral of their father, Joe Scott, a lifelong educator and sitting member of the Richmond County Board of Education.

"There was no sitting around," he said. "There was no sitting idly by in the Scott household."

As soon as his father walked in, he would press his hand against the TV to see whether it was warm and would begin assigning chores, Merwyn Scott told an overflow crowd at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Mr. Scott's three sons shared laughs and loving memories of their father and his stern upbringing, one they are thankful for.

Fellow school board members, city commissioners, other elected officials and many students were among those gathered to bid farewell at the historic church, where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke during the civil rights movement.

Nothing to do? Get a book and read, Merwyn Scott remembered his father saying often.

It wasn't until college that he fully appreciated what his father had done, only then grasping that he had prepared him for life.

Joe Scott was a retired educator, but he never stopped educating.

Only days before his death, he brought his eldest granddaughter, Marlisa Scott, to the mall, where he bought her a math workbook and the dress she wore at Thursday's funeral. They spent part of their time together last week learning math.

"I loved him so much, and we will truly miss Grandpa," she told the crowd. "I'm sure you will miss him, too."

Joe Scott served on the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority and the Augusta Aviation Commission. He was serving his second term on the school board when he died in his sleep early Saturday morning at home.

Joe Scott's sons spoke of his legacy. The Rev. Marlon Scott Sr. said that many people fight but that his father fought the good fight, never forgetting where he was from and always fighting for the poor and underprivileged.

A special election will be held to fill Mr. Scott's unexpired term on the school board.

The Rev. Scott said he hopes whoever is elected shows the same grit and fights for all children.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.


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