On Feb. 22, 2011, the ranching community parted with one of its authentic cowboys. John R. Scott Jr. lived a full life and was considered by many to be "one of a kind." He was a man driven by vision, purpose and hard work. His passions in life were horses, ranching, business and providing well for his family.
John Robert Scott Jr. was born Sept. 6, 1923, to Agnes and John R. Scott Sr. in San Angelo, Texas. He grew up on the Mertzon family ranch along with his two younger brothers, William (Mozelle) and Hamilton (June) ... all of whom are now deceased.
John attended Texas A&M until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He enlisted into the Navy in 1942, and served in the Pacific Theater as a bombardier. Shortly after returning home from the war, he met June Owens and soon asked her if "she would be his cook?" They married at June's family ranch near Barnhart, Texas, on Aug. 3, 1947. A year after their wedding, they moved to Montana to "pioneer the last frontier." They would have four children in the years to come.
For the next 40 years, John would develop a reputable remuda of Quarter Horses as he worked to create two productive cattle ranches located near Miles City and Billings. John and June moved back to Texas in the 1980s to help care for their parents. During that time, he also enjoyed participating in cutting horse competitions. John bought land near Miles, Texas, that was covered with mesquite trees and rattlesnakes. With his visionary skills at work, he created a beautiful irrigated horse ranch.
Since his wife's sudden passing four years ago, John has been declining in health. True to his character, John was determined to handle his changing life with dignity and a positive attitude. Our family is deeply grateful for the dedication of care giving he received from Sue Manning, Teresa Rocha, Olga Munoz, Robin Miller, Carmen Rocha, Amanda Brown (granddaughter), Maggie Scott Brown (daughter) and the Regency's supportive staff. John is now in the presence of the Lord.
John had many accomplishments in his lifetime. He and his father were among the first to take stock in the American Quarter Horse Association. Years later, he would win the AQHA Best Remuda Award for working horses. John was a recipient of the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman's Award of Honor. Recently, he was inducted into the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame.
John is survived by his four children, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. They are John R. Scott, III (Cindy), who is the father to Becky Peltzer (Tim), John IV (Jen) and James Scott (Samantha); Maggie Scott Brown, who is the mother of Amanda; Sissy Croft (Charlie), who is the mother of Katie, Clay (Rachelle) and Clint (Alexis); and Jim Bode Scott (Marcie), who is the father of Sarah Verhelst (K.C.), Hannah, and Caleb. The great-grandchildren are Scott and Sully Peltzer; Cyrus, Ryder and Eli Croft; Verity Croft; Paisley Verhelst and Lydia June Scott
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. A funeral service will be held at Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive in Billings on Friday, March 4, at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow. Graveside farewell will be at 3 p.m. at the Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park, 3605 Grand Ave., in Billings.
We love you, Papa John!
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements.
Remembrances may be shared with the family by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com.