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For the week of March 14 through 20, 2001

Edward Lawrence Scott

Edward Lawrence Scott, known as Scotty, and—to his oldest friends—as Ned, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 7, 2001, in Boise. He was 86.

Born in Philadelphia on July 11, 1914, to Louis and Frances Scott, "Ned" grew up in Bell Rose (Long Island), N.Y. After briefly attending Amherst, and later M.I.T., Scotty's fateful introduction to skiing occurred at the ski-ramp in the sporting goods department of Macy's department store in Manhattan. His love for skiing and lifelong passion for tinkering and inventing would have a lasting impact on the sport.

Like many avid skiers, he intended to head west for the Sun Valley ski resort's much-heralded grand opening in 1936, but the sudden death of his father, and later, World War II, put a temporary halt to these plans. While serving with the U.S. Army in France, a half-track vehicle on which Scotty was riding detonated a submerged mine during a river crossing. Following his hospitalization, and the end of the war, Scotty returned stateside, where he paid an extended visit to his sister Marian in San Francisco. He was headed for Aspen when he stopped by Sun Valley for the commencement of ski season 1947, and remained for the next 53 years.

Scotty’s first job in Sun Valley was as a bus boy in the employee’s cafeteria, then located in the old quonsut hut near the golf course. Employees didn’t like the meals there, but everyone liked being around Scotty. No bus boy uniform had long enough legs for him, but when Life Magazine ran a piece on the Sun Valley resort, Scotty was featured in those short white pants.

Scotty soon went to work in Pete Lane’s Ski Shop, but a dispute with Pete led Scotty to open his own rival ski repair service in the building that now houses Ketchum's Smoky Mountain Pizza. A historic plaque has been installed to indicate that this was where Scotty developed his best known creation—the revolutionary aluminum Scott ski pole. The tapered, lightweight, virtually indestructible poles, with their distinctive molded hand grips, became a sensation following their use by 13 medalists in the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley. Between 1959 and 1969, when the company—now Scott USA—was sold, Scotty manufactured and sold his famous gold ski poles, constructing the building that now serves as Ketchum's Post Office as his full-scale factory in the late 60s. In addition, his company developed and marketed other innovative ski products ranging from articulated gloves to safer and much lighter ski boots.

In recognition of his contributions to the sport, he was inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame in 1986.

Scotty was well known as an iconoclast, albeit a reserved and taciturn gentleman of the old school, characterized by his creativity, pointed and wry sense of humor—he was a story-teller extraordinaire— fierce loyalty to his friends, and deep love for his family. Scotty was a superb teacher who explained things in logical progression.

He married Margaret Cooper in Sun Valley in 1956, where their daughter Heidi (Bynum) was born, in the Valley Lodge in 1958. Margaret's older children,Cathy Foley and Wynne Dei Cooper (both of Tucson, Ariz.) and Craig Cooper (of Bellingham, Wash.), always treasured their stepfather. Although her parents divorced, Heidi moved back to the Wood River Valley to be near Scotty in 1983, and both his grandchildren were later born here. Scotty met his lifemate Barbara and son, Tim Bushnell, in Sun Valley, and they became his loving, supportive family following Scotty and Barbara's marriage in 1964. His devotion to Barbara, and his intense pride in Tim, Heidi, and his grandchildren Alice and Liam Bynum, brought out his tender, sensitive side, and his caring strength will never be forgotten by them.

After the sale of the ski pole company, Scotty remained busy with various sports equipment enterprises—making new, improved versions of everything from back packs to bicycle brakes to snow guns—and working full time well into his 80s.

Many will remember Scotty best for his pointed and well reasoned "letters to the editor" over the years concerning all manner of controvosial issues, and his constant presence at Ketchum City Council meetings, where he persistently and fearlessly voiced his opposition to greed and unregulated growth.

At the time of his death, Barbara, Heidi and Tim were at his bedside. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren Alice and Liam, and his son-in-law, Steve Bynum, all of Hailey. He was preceded in death by his sister Marian.

A memorial gathering, or "happy wake" as he used to call it, will be held for Scotty's many friends and his family in Sun Valley this September. Inquiries may be made to Barbara (208) 375-5182, Heidi (208) 788-1212, or Tim (949) 496-1039.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Edward Scott Memorial Fund, in care of the Idaho Mountain Express.


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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.