Dan Scott passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2013, doing something he really loved — flying his helicopter over the land that he cared for. A tragic accident took him away from all of us too early, but he lived a full and adventure-filled life to the very end. He was widely admired for his fun-loving spirit, youthful attitude and his ability to inspire others to be better people.
He was born on July 14, 1931, in Columbus, Neb., to Homer and Mildred (Pil) Scott. He was the eldest of five siblings: Homer Jr., Tom, Jim and Susan Scott Heyneman.
Dan spent his childhood in Sheridan, Wyo., and traveled with his father around the region, where Homer managed various construction camps and spent time honing his agriculture and ranching skills on the family ranch: the Padlock. His high school years were spent attending Culver Military Academy in Indiana. While his fun-loving spirit may have been somewhat tempered by many of the military regulations, he often found his way around them and loved the time he was there and the many friendships he developed. He graduated from Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) with a degree in agriculture, which helped him start his long career in ranching.
He met and married his college sweetheart, Jeanne Isham, and they were married for 54 years before she passed away in 2008. Dan managed his own ranch, the N-5, for 15 years before joining the Padlock Ranch as the CEO and manager in the late 1960s. During his career with the Padlock, he received many awards and was particularly proud of his induction into the International Livestock Congress Hall of Fame in 2002. He enjoyed traveling to various parts of the world, often invited as an ambassador of agriculture, to see and share how other methods of ranching could produce better livestock and agriculture efficiencies worldwide.
He retired from the Padlock in 2003 and began another life by purchasing a new ranch near Pompeys Pillar and developing a feedlot at Custer.
In 2011, Dan married his second sweetheart, Ceci Rodriguez, and he happily lived out the rest of his life with Ceci and her daughter, Cecilita. They both brought another adventure and much joy to his life. They were truly a bright spot to him and it was clearly evident to his friends and family.
Dan believed in making an impact on his communities and other people’s lives. Only two of many examples of his generosity are his support of the Tongue River Valley Community Center (TRVCC) in Dayton and Ranchester, Wyo., where he raised his family, and his donations to Montana State University’s physiology lab in the College of Agriculture’s new Animal Biological Science Building. Both of these projects were important to him as he looked ahead to the future, both for his community and his agriculture constituents.
Dan loved to fish and especially enjoyed his group of fishing friends. He particularly enjoyed taking his sons and grandsons to fish in Alaska, as well as Ceci and Cecilita, but his competitive nature refused to let them out-fish him. May all their stories improve with age!
Dan was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Jeanne; and is survived by his second wife, Ceci and her daughter, Cecilita; his children: Randy (Lynette), Billings, with children Shad, Kayla, Shann (Jessica) and Devin; Ron (Audra), Sheridan, Wyo., and children Jeremy, Geoffrey and Bailie; Riki Davidson, Dayton, Wyo., and her daughter Rebecca; Risa Scott, Orange, Calif.; Trink (Tom) Morss, Dayton, with Luke (Cassie); and Colt (Janet) Johnson, Gillette, Wyo., and children Taite, Trent and Trase. He is also survived by his siblings: Scotty (Janet) Scott, Sheridan, Wyo., Susan Heyneman, Fishtail, Tom (Joan) Scott, Dayton, and Jim (Chris) Scott, Billings.
What can you say about a man like Dan? It could fill a book. Or it could be summed up simply by saying that to know Dan was to love him. We have all lost a dear husband, father, grandfather and friend!
A private service will be held on Friday and an outdoor “Celebration of Life” will be held for all his friends and family at 3 p.m. Monday, May 6, at the Padlock Ranch in Dayton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in the memory of Dan to the Tongue River Valley Community Center (TRVCC) or to a charity of your choice.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary of Billings is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.michelottisawyers.com.