Our tribute to Don Scott, RN, CDE
Don was 63 years old, but in many ways he lived several lifetimes. He was humanity at its very best – always giving, always helping, always making life better for everyone he touched.
He was well known as a dedicated pediatric nurse and certified diabetes educator who went above and beyond his job duties for 35 years at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center to lovingly care for thousands of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic children, teaching them and their families how to live successfully with diabetes.
Don never liked to be in the spotlight, refusing to be fussed over for the good work he did, always deferring credit to the dedicated Camp Hodia staff. Most of us were familiar with Don’s playful smile and quiet, gentle demeanor, but Hodia campers and fellow staff members also knew who was in charge when something needed to be straightened out.
In his “other life” Don was surprisingly rugged and adventurous – always taking life to the next level. From SCUBA diving to running marathons, from backpacking to mountain-climbing, his boundless passion for people seemed to translate to a boundless passion for living. In 2005, while in Pakistan to help earthquake victims, Don said he was struck by the strong faith of the people to go on with life. He called his experience of helping others as “feeling more alive than at any other time.” This was typical of Don – always more alive than he was the day before.
On August 10th, 2011, Don slipped from the top of Wyoming’s highest peak in the Wind River Range, just a few feet short of the 13,804-foot summit, from which the views are described as “magnificent.” Just like Don’s life, this is not an adventure for the timid, the sedentary or the faint of heart. For Don it was just one more way to “feel more alive than at any other time.”
As one former Hodia camper and counselor said after clearing the ocean of tears from her eyes: “He’s still there on top of that mountain gazing down at that beautiful site.” Indeed, his love of adventure, his lifelong dedication to his diabetic “family” and to people in need around the world has inspired us to live more playful, adventurous, giving lives – and will continue to do so long into the future. That would make Don happy as he pursues his next adventure.
No, Don is not gone. His exemplary life, his boundless concern for others, that gentle smile ... he lives on in all of us who loved him and were loved by him. Don Scott – as much The Rock as the mountains he has climbed – is still with us ... and always will be.