Melvin Scott was born on a Thursday and departed this life on a Tuesday. To me my grandfather Melvin was larger than life. As a child I remember seeing him as the strongest man I knew. His humor, quick wit, and easy laugh fit on Melvin like a favorite pair of gloves, and he wore these traits with an easy nature. He loved his family, and he collected friends. It was hard not to let Melvin into your heart. He was honest and simple with his words. He taught me how to saddle a horse, he taught me to serve our country, and he taught me the value for your family and friends. I remember riding with him on the 4-wheeler as we herded cattle or went to irrigate the fields. While checking on the water he sometimes ran into rattlesnakes, with all the ease in the world he would smoothly take his shovel and dispatch the snake without missing a beat, or flinching. He was a brave man. These small things I noticed as a child showed me much more about the man, my grandpa Melvin than I would realize. His bravery, honor, integrity, and love for his family aided him tenfold as he was called to military service on a Monday the 14th of February in 1944 and participated in the Liberation of the Philippines. He finished his Army service on the 17th of February 1946 but he really never stopped his service to kin and country. After leaving the Army he returned to his family’s homestead farm, Mantua Farms where he and my grandmother Jody raised three children Keith, Kathy, and Steve Scott.
As a farmer he fed this great nation his whole life and taught his children what true dedication to your community and family really mean. Little did he know that all the hard work he did, all those times he took me with him to check the water, or the cold winter nights where I watched him with his cattle, he was really teaching me what it takes to be a man, to be a father, and to serve those around you. He was dedicated to his wife, my grandmother Jody Scott, and when she passed and he remarried he showed the same dedication to Mary Scott. His whole life was one of honor, family, and strength. As much as he loved the land here in Powell, and especially the land he farmed at Mantua Farms, this land is as much a part of him as he is a part of it. Those of you who have broken bread with him can attest to the truth of these words.
My summers were spent learning from this man and on his last days, he had every reason to be afraid, to be scared of what comes next, but rather than give up, his eyes only shone with love for his family and friends. Melvin left this world with dignity, he left on a Tuesday and on his terms, born to this land of Wyoming and dying on this same land. We are all better people for having known him and having loved him. To me, even as his body became weaker he was the strongest man I have ever known. He could move mountains if he had wanted. Melvin was a powerful man, he showed that power in the simple nature of his love, his hard work farming, and his service to his country.
To me Mantua Farms and Melvin Scott were one and the same. They were magical and smelled of adventure and wonder. Grandpa, you are adventure, you are magnificent, and you are amazing. Your life was spectacular, you held this family together, through the hard times and your strength and power were a force to be reckoned with. You are the greatest grandpa a boy could ever have, you are the best example of a father and a man. I love you with my whole heart. Thank you for being in our lives, I will miss you Grandpa, my heart overflows with love for you and for all you have done for this great nation and for the people here in Powell, Wyoming. I hope that someday I can be a grandpa just like you. I want to thank each and every one of you here today as we remember with great joy my grandpa Melvin Scott. I know that if given the opportunity to speak this church would be filled with stories similar to mine from all of you. Grandpa, I love you and you will always be in our hearts.