In memory of Scott Westcott

My father-in-law, Pops, passed away just before Christmas. It was absolutely tragic, and so very unexpected. I wanted to post both the obituary Ma had printed in the Tucson newspaper for him, and the beautiful eulogy that Heath wrote and read at his memorial service.

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Pops was more than just a father-in-law to me, he was also my friend. I’ve struggled to capture my feelings in words so I thought, for now, I would let the words of others speak for me. We’ll miss you Pops.

Obituary

This is the obituary Ma had printed in the Tucson newspaper:

Scott J. Westcott CMSGT. USAF Ret. passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on December 21, 2014. Born in Bellows Falls, VT on December 11, 1956. He lived in NH and MA until he entered the USAF on July 19, 1979. Scott and his family traveled worldwide during his military career. After 30 years of service he retired in 2009. He was currently employed at Raytheon Missile Systems as a Metrology Supervisor. He was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and NE Patriots. Scott’s passion was the game of golf. Scott is survived by his wife, Robin; daughters, Lauren and Heather (Dustin); grandsons, Jameson and Laszlo and his six siblings. He is predeceased by his parents, Richard and Teresa Westcott and sister, Sonja. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in his memory. He was loved by all that knew him and will be greatly missed. A Memorial Service will be on Monday, January 12, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at BRING’S BROADWAY CHAPEL, 6910 E. Broadway.

Eulogy

Heather wrote and read this beautiful eulogy at the memorial service. I am so incredibly proud of her.

Livin’ the dream

All of us who had the pleasure of knowing my dad, Scott, have heard him say that phrase. He said it often and he spoke it with truth.

Pops loved his life. Every aspect of it was lived with passion and pride. A husband, a dad, a papa, a brother, a son and a friend. He was all of these and so much more. He was very proud of his family, even if he was outnumbered by us women. “Even the cat is a female,” he would say.

He cherished my Ma, Robin, his high school sweetheart, so much that he would celebrate the first day he asked her out on a date—not just their wedding anniversary.

They, together, made the decision to join the Air Force. They started in Texas with the intention of only enlisting for four years. Well, 30 years and a full passport later and he’d tell you those were some of the best days of his life.

He absolutely loved being outdoors. Everybody knows how hot it gets in Tucson, so to keep us cool Ma and Pops bought us a kiddie pool. Thanks to dad’s military background he liked to keep things tidy: he would set up the pool and right in front of it he put a tub with water. We were then to dip our feet in the tub to get all the grass off, and then we could get in the pool. That might sound strict but all the kids wanted to swim in our pool.

The simplest of activities brought him joy. Whether he was laying in the sun, barbequing, going for a walk, or watering the grass. It was so awesome doing cartwheels on our beautiful front lawn, because dad kept it up so well.

Just like a golf course.

Pops loved golf. He loved watching golf, talking about golf, reading about golf, and of course, playing golf. This is pretty funny: regardless of where he was, he would look down at his invisible ball, on his invisible tee, line up his feet, bend his knees, and position his hands around his invisible club… then take a swing. And he would absolutely yell “FORE!” Every time.

Passion. Everything with such passion.

He loved the Eagles. Not the football team (that was the New England Patriots). I’m talking about his favorite band. You could often find dad in the living room, standing in front of our TV, rewatching some Eagles concert that he had recorded on VHS. The volume would be maxed out and he’d be singing the songs at the top of his lungs. Often accompanied by air drums and, of course, air guitar. I can still hear him belting out “Desperado…”

This past October, Pops, along with Ma, took me, my sister and my husband to go see them live. What amazing night that was; seeing one of the items on Dad’s bucket list come true. He was having the time of his life. I’ll never forget during one of the songs he put his arms around all of us, while we all sang along. He was just beaming.

He was always singing, actually. Whether it was along to the classic rock station, or one of his many albums. Sometimes he’d even make up his own crazy songs. That reminds me of one summer he decided to take us to Breakers.

The oldies station was broadcasting from the water park that day. They asked for volunteers to compete in an Elvis Presley singing contest. We begged him to do it because he did the best Elvis voice. He was so light-hearted and easy going that he went for it. he was so phenomenal. He sang Blue Suede Shoes like it was nobody’s business. The crowd cheered for him the loudest. Unfortunately, he didn’t win, but we’re pretty sure it was because he wasn’t a blonde in a tiny bikini.

Dad joined the Air Force because well… he’d say “it’s the best branch in the service.” But mostly it had to do with his love for airplanes. I think we must have gone to every air show Davis-Monthan offered. We loved it though. His excitement would rub off on you.

Even when we weren’t at the air shows, he’d still point out planes and name them. He’d say, “look, an A-10 Thunderbolt two with the ACES two ejection seat!” Even faster than I could just then. It was his funny way of pointing out an A-10. To which we would always laugh.

Pops absolutely loved his grandsons. When he and Ma would come visit he would start playing the second he walked in the door.

One time, I remember talking with my mom in the kitchen. We heard Jameson making fire truck sounds and they both appeared in the hallway. Pops was decked out in a kid’s plastic fire helmet, a handmade badge, and some toy used as a makeshift hose. “Go big or go home,” he’d say. Now that’s a good papa.

In dad’s final weeks and days, regardless of his condition, he took every opportunity to make jokes and laugh, listen to music and sing to his grandsons, take walks and even sun bathe.

And while he may not have been living the dream in those moments, the dream was most certainly alive.