Obituary: David Scott | SteamboatToday.com
April 20, 1950 – August 12, 2022
David Leslie Scott, 72, died Aug. 12, 2022 while hiking to Lake Mica in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness in Routt County, Colorado. He was with his wife of 23 years, Aleka Scott. David was an avid and experienced outdoorsman whose passions included hiking above the treeline, downhill and backcountry skiing, mountain and road biking, dog walking, and bird and bird wondering. of nature. His purpose in life was to live on Colorado’s West Slope, and he was always happiest exploring its natural wonders.
David grew up in Aurora, Colorado with his parents, Virginia and Leslie, and his sister, Robin. What he remembered most from those formative years were the long summer trips his family would take in their “caravan home” across the United States. David’s love of travel was rooted in these family adventures.
David attended the Colorado School of Mines on a full scholarship, where he majored in mining engineering because he liked to “blow shit up,” both above and below ground . At the Mines, he also acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of geology, which made hiking with him a treat, as he could explain seemingly all the interesting rock formations.
In Mines, David joined the Sig Ep fraternity and found his first group of brothers, many of whom remained lifelong friends. Their antics are legendary and, unfortunately, cannot be shared in a public obituary. During the summers, he worked as a ranger in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park, where he marveled at being paid to backpack all summer.
David began his working life in 1973 in Paonia, Colorado at US Steel’s Somerset Mine, where he was a mine superintendent and mining engineer. After a stint with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1975 to 1977, David moved to Steamboat Springs with his first wife, Anne, to work as a mine manager at P&M’s Edna Mine in Oak Creek, then at Sun Coal Mine in AT Massey. David and Anne built a house on Deerfoot Avenue themselves, finishing the roof at night in the middle of a snowstorm, and settled into life at the start of ‘Boat’. This was the start of a love affair with Steamboat that would continue until the day David died.
In 1982, rather than accept a transfer to West Virginia with Massey, David went to work for TIC, The Industrial Company, as a “salesman”. At TIC, David found a career, working his way up to Vice President of Business Development by securing jobs building power plants, mines and other industrial projects around the world. For more than 31 years, he helped build TIC into a great international construction company with a close-knit community of colleagues.
David and Anne had two children, Aaron (born in 1981) and Elizabeth (born in 1983). They were the driving force behind everything he did – his greatest joys were skiing, hiking and spending time with them. Although David and Anne divorced in 1989, they worked closely together to raise their children and show them that a family can love each other even as it changes. When his children moved to the Portland, Oregon area with their mother to attend high school, David arranged a move to the TIC Oregon office in 1997 so he could be with them.
It was in 1997 in Oregon that David met Aleka, the love of his life. They married in 1999 and spent the next 16 years in what David dubbed “a suburban marriage.” Because of his job, he traveled back and forth between Steamboat and Lake Oswego, Oregon, where Aleka stayed with her two children, Peter and Ivan Kitchen. A patient and supportive father-in-law, David taught his son-in-laws countless life lessons. David and Aleka shared a love of travel: they chartered sailboats in the San Juan and Gulf Islands of the Pacific Northwest, explored many places including Bhutan and the Italian Dolomites, and took bicycle trips with friends (Club Ned), traveling the world: Peru, Turkey, France, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Slovenia. David’s favorite trips, however, were the family trips they took to Hawaii, Spain and Mexico.
David retired from TIC, then Kiewit Corp., in 2014, although he was not very good at retirement and eventually went to work as a mining business development manager for Black & Veatch, a company world of engineering and construction. In 2017, David and Aleka moved full time to Steamboat and rebuilt the Big Blue House in Fairview into a truly spectacular (albeit gray) home with room for all of their children, grandchildren and friends. David hiked, biked, skied and walked Emerald Mountain – his backyard – almost every day. Her favorite thing was to sit on the west deck at sunset with a drink and marvel at the beauty of the view. “It’s not a beautiful view, but it’s a beautiful view” he would say with that characteristic twinkle in his eyes, because indeed it is a beautiful view.
David was an accomplished martial artist who studied karate (earning a black belt), taekwondo, Pencak silat, kali and Yuan style Tai Chi Chuan. David has studied tai chi chuan with Master Tung Kai Ying for over 30 years, practicing weekly at Steamboat, attending tai chi camps in California, and traveling to China and Hong Kong. The tai chi chuan community is global and David’s tai chi family includes many dear friends in France, Italy, Finland and across the United States.
David’s great gift was his ability to make and keep friends. When David spoke to you, he was intensely present with you; he made you feel like the most interesting and important person in his world. His quirky sense of humour, engaging presence and propensity to sing meant he lit up any room he walked into and was always the life of the party. According to a friend, “If you were with David Scott, you knew you were going to have fun.”
No account of David would be complete without mentioning his love of dogs, which was a belated love. He and his beloved little black dog, Bellie, have walked literally hundreds of miles off-leash all around Lake Oswego and Steamboat. Even after Bellie died, David was “always packing” — doggie bags, that is. Always on hand with a treat and a scratch, David was a magnet for dogs across the West.
David was kind, generous, gentle-minded, and immensely compassionate to all living beings. He was a Buddhist and a member of the Steamboat Buddhist community, yet another community enlightened by his presence. He has often said that he feels so lucky to have such an amazing family, so many great friends, such a deep love for Aleka, and to live in such a magical place.
David’s favorite role, however, was being PopPop for Elizabeth’s children, Olivia (4) and Henry (2). David could play or read stories with his grandchildren for hours. It was a job he will miss very much.
David died of a sudden, unexpected and massive cardiac event while hiking with Aleka on August 12, 2022. David was only half a mile from Lake Mica, above 11,000 feet , and was taking photos of the majestic beauty until just minutes before she died. We, his family and friends believe that David was taken from us too soon. David will live on in the hearts of so many. Move on to the next life in peace, David. We love you with all our heart.
There will be a celebration of life for David on October 8, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. at Olympian Hall.