With the most profound sadness in our hearts, we announce the passing of our dear, sweet Michael Andrew Scott, beloved son, husband, father, Papa, and friend. Michael passed away on March 11th in Eureka after a short and aggressive battle with cancer. Mike’s smile is one of the things we will all remember. So fortunate were those who were on the receiving end of that smile. He was the perfect welcoming host, ensuring everyone around him was comfortable, entertained, fed, and well cared for. Everyone felt special when in his presence. But, as they say, gone too soon, way too soon.
Mike was born in Eureka on February 23rd, 1969, to his loving parents, Joe and Dodie Scott, joining his older brother Greg to form the perfect family of four. The family spent much time at Trinity Lake on the houseboat Joe and Dodie had built. So many friendships were forged, and some of the best memories were created. Michael loved to fish and ski, and it was always the one thing he wanted to share with his kids, so much so that in recent years he bought a ski boat with plans of sharing his love of the lake with his grandkids, family, and friends. When Mike was in the hospital, the nurse asked him what his long-term goals were beside his health, and he said, “to get back to the lake,” so with that, we plan to do just that…
As with his own children, Mike attended Ridgewood and Cutten Schools, Winship Junior High, and Eureka High School, graduating in 1987. Here, he formed lifelong friendships with many, including Jay Shamp, Scott Avila, Brian Jensen, and Randall Davis. During these formidable years, he developed his love of baseball, spending many weekends traveling the state with his parents and attending tournaments. He also played football for EHS and was a loyal fan of the Dallas Cowboys. All who knew him knew of his lifelong passion for both sports and his favorite team, the Oakland A’s. But it didn’t stop there. Mike continued his involvement in baseball when he started coaching his son Chris at CRRA and then later at Redwood Empire Little League with all three children Chris, Braedon, and Hunter. His time on the fields forged long-lasting friendships with the players, coaches, and parents—you know who you are.
Michael was sometimes allowed to hang out with his older brother and friends. Time spent with good dudes like Jesse Conn and Steve Gutierrez, to name a few. Michael was a bit younger, so you could imagine the torment he might have endured, but he always looked up to Greg’s buddies and considered them family. Through these friendships, he also met Paula and, eventually, they found their way together through their mutual love of golf and all things competitive. They spent many weekends on the golf courses around Humboldt County, rain, or shine, just enjoying the game and time with friends, sometimes followed by a round of blackjack or ping pong at Forbes Avenue with friends Jay, Brian, Scott, Randall, Johnny, Mot, Danny, Debbie and Randy, Dana and Teri, and the list goes on. Michael always came out on top in the games of chance, and it wasn’t unusual to see him sporting a new pair of shoes or clothes the day after a serious card game!
Eventually, Paula and her son Chris ended up in Redding with Mike due to job changes, and it was there that their relationship grew and the family of three was solidified. Paula found a soulmate in Michael that she had not had before and someone who held her heart so close and one she could share her fears, her deepest secrets and her dreams and wishes for their future with the utmost trust in him to hold them dear. He was loyal to the core and always stood by her side even when it wasn’t easy. Michael loved his little family, bringing Chris under his wing and taking his role as a parent figure very seriously. In August 1997, Michael and Paula welcomed their second child, Braedon, and in true party fashion with a crowd of people standing by! Braedon was the twinkle in Michael’s eye and was his mini-me. The short 2 years in Redding raising the boys alongside dear friends Chad and Diana Coleman were some of the best days for all of us, at the lake, by the pool, snow skiing, or just playing board games until the sun came up.
In 2000, Michael and Paula welcomed their little Hunter Rae into the family fold. Watching Michael meet his daughter for the first time was pure love. He adored his daughter and was so very connected to her. Her kindness and empathy are gifts from her father that live on through her. The last family gathering, and possibly one of Mike’s proudest moments, was when we attended Hunter’s graduation in San Diego from CSU San Marcos this past May. Our family and close friends gathered for a 4-day celebration with beach bonfires, boat rides, and baseball games. These days will live on in our memories, like so many others. And as Hunter said upon his passing, “How lucky am I to have had the coolest Dad ever and have him be my best friend?”.
Michael loved playing golf. He especially loved league night at the Eureka Muni golf course. For the past few years, he sponsored his own team, The Gang Green. The team included his two sons, Chris and Braedon, as well as Aaron Walker, Kenny Gray, and Zack Glidden, and he loved competing against the teams of Derek Rocha and Rich Bartlett. He couldn’t wait for Wednesday nights! He also loved golfing with his brother-in-law Howie (better known as MFE) at Baywood CC or on our many trips to Santa Rosa. His last round of golf was with his dear friend Michael DelGrande. It was probably the most difficult 9 holes of golf he played but it was so important for him to play with his friend one last time and he was so proud of that accomplishment. Michael also was fortunate to attend the US Open in Pebble Beach in 2019, a highlight of Michael’s golf experiences. Michael spent 2 hours watching Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas putting and shooting the shit. Michael was over the moon to be in their presence.
In Michael’s work life, he believed that customer service was bar none. Grocery was in his blood and, in fact, in his lineage as far back as the 1700s. He began working when he was just 15 years old, for Kacy’s Market (Murphy’s), Mark ‘N Save, Safeway, and Sunset Market in Redding. Mike then ended up in grocery and liquor sales, spending most of his sales career with Young’s Market Company and Kellogg’s. He also owned a window cleaning business since 2001, bringing him the most joy in his work life. Before his illness, Michael worked at the Eureka Co-Op and planned to grow and retire with the company. He loved helping people and seeing a smile on their faces.
Michael had no idea how his life would change when blessed with twin Grandbabies, Charlie Rae and Lotus Kyle. But the beauty of being a grandparent showed on his face every day when he would pick them up from preschool in the wagon and walk them back to our house for a day of fun and beautiful chaos. Charlie would always say, “Papa, I love you with my whole heart,” and boy was that true for Michael too.
He leaves behind his loving wife, Paula, of 24 years (although friends for many more); children Chris Gutierrez, Braedon Scott, and Hunter Scott, all of Eureka; grandchildren Lotus and Charlie Rae Gutierrez of Eureka; mother Dodie Scott of Redding; Aunt Nancy Rounds, Uncle and Aunt Bob and Beverly Sholes; sisters-in-law Jamie Pavlich Walker (husband Howie Walker and children Devin and Aaron), Cindy McIntosh (husband Michael and daughters Logan, Jamie and Libbie); cousins Debbie Frazier and Wendy Calbazar; co-parent and lifelong friend Steve Gutierrez; special friends Mike and Becky DelGrande and an endless list of friends and co-workers. Mike was preceded in death by his father, Joe Scott, in February 2020, and his brother Greg Scott in February 2019.
Michael still felt the need to be a proper host right up until his last day, when he was surrounded by a house full of beloved family and friends, both new and old.
Services will be held on Saturday, May 6th, at 1:00 at the Pavlich Ranch-3745 Pennsylvania Avenue in Eureka. A memorial golf tournament will be held the day prior, with details to come.
The family wishes to thank ….
Dr. Thomas Rydz for his guidance, attentiveness, compassion, and encouragement; Thomas you are a blessing to our community!
Jenny Tehan, RN and friend, for going above and beyond what is expected of any nurse and friend. We are so fortunate to have you in our corner and love you dearly!
Dr. Steinberg, for excellent medical care throughout and compassion and guidance.
Patty Kubala, MA for the medical support all the way to the end, and the love and care for our entire family.
Dr. Join Luh of the radiation oncology department for his guidance and proactive approach. You put ‘care’ back into your job description and this community is better for having you in it.
Dr. Sageman and the ICU team for their undying optimism and excellent care and for maintaining Michael’s dignity throughout.
Beckie McCanless, RN, and all the nurses of the medical oncology team for their outstanding care and kindness.