Otto Joseph Scott

May 26, 1918 - May 5, 2006

Obituary

Otto Joseph Scott, born Otto Scott-Estrella Jr., age 87, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2006 in Issaquah, WA. Otto is survived by his daughters, Katherine Anne Scott-Estrella, residing in Tucson, AZ, Mary Nazelle Crispo, residing in Brooklyn, NY, grandson Alexander Widen, Phillipa Scott-Girardi Stephen Girardi, grandsons Gabriel Molina, and Matthew Girardi, and Ann Elizabeth Scott-Hugli Hans A. Hugli, residing in Sammamish, WA; grandchildren; Roxane Sri Hugli and Alexander Philip Hugli. Otto Scott was preceded in death by his wife of 34 years, Anna Barney Scott, in August 1997. Mr. Scott served in the US Merchant Marines during WWII, and had a successful career in advertising and as a journalist after the war. He then went on to pursue his lifelong dream of being a writer and was the author of ten books: The Exception, the story of Ashland Oil, James I, the fool as king, The Creative Ordeal, the story of Raytheon, Robespierre, the voice of virtue, The Secret Six, John Brown and the abolitionists, The Professional, a biography of J.B. Saunders, The Other End of the Lifeboat, The Great Christian Revolution, Buried Treasure, the story of Arch Mineral, and The Powered Hand, the history of Black & Decker. He made a living from his corporate biographies, yet achieved fame from his thorough knowledge of history and poetic use of language. Mr. Scott was also the author of Otto Scott’s Compass, a monthly journal of contemporary culture which ran for fifteen years, and was widely read by well-known conservatives. Committal service will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. at Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery, 37600 Pacific Hwy. S., Federal Way, WA. The family has entrusted arrangements to BONNEY-WATSON Federal Way, 1535 SW Dash Point Rd., Federal Way, WA 253 839-7317.

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Ann Elizabeth Scott
Ann Elizabeth Scott
1 year ago

Dearest Dad,

I will always remember our time in Seattle together fondly. I am so glad you got to be with me in your last year and a half. The best times were at Hal’s “palace” with Carole, when we three worked on your memoirs together. Your courage was heartbreaking, yet inspiring. I hope that you are enjoying yourself in that place of light that we call Heaven. Your spirit will always remain in my heart.

Love,

your youngest daughter-

Lizzie

Lisa Knopp
Lisa Knopp
1 year ago

Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Otto, I love his daughter Elizabeth like a sister….My condolences to all who will miss him.

Lisa Knopp

James Fout Jr.
James Fout Jr.
1 year ago

I met Mr. Scott several times as I was growing up and was always impressed with his humanity and his learning. Both were very evident when I had the privilege of roaming through his private library in his home. I am very sorry at his passing.

Arnold Jagt
Arnold Jagt
1 year ago

Otto will forever be listened to on the audio recordings he did with RJ Rushdoony in the “Easy Chair Series” where he was a welcome and active participant adding a special historical realism and masculine insight into the many issues discussed.

I met him in person in Okemos MI where he gave a talk.

Rev. & Mrs. Samuel Harrison
Rev. & Mrs. Samuel Harrison
1 year ago

We enjoyed his visits to our church immensely and liked nothing better than to sit and listen to him converse with our pastor, Dr. McIntyre.

John & Nancy Nelson
John & Nancy Nelson
1 year ago

Our condolences to Otto’s family. We knew Otto through the ministy of Chalcedon, and we count knowing him a great blessing.

Mark R. Rushdoony
Mark R. Rushdoony
1 year ago

As gifted as Otto was, and as much as he contributed to Chalcedon during his years here, I most appreciate the opportunity I got to know him personally. I cannot go into the Murphys Hotel without missing Chalcedon’s Wednesday morning men’s breakfasts we had for so many years. I was always amazed at the stories he could relate. I’ll never forget that time I told him he should write his autobiography. “It would make fascinating reading,” I said. Otto, always a private man, smiled and said, “That’s why I won’t do it!”

You are missed, Otto.

Andrea Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz
1 year ago

I will personally remember Otto Scott as an individual who challenged me to never stop being a student. Through the influence of his writings, personal conversations I had with him, and those “overheard” on tape or as a bystander, I was able to appreciate the necessity to go beyond the superficial aspects of a topic or issue and to discern underlying causes and perspectives.

No one could ever accuse Otto of being an “easy” person to be around. However, those who didn’t penetrate that outer shell, missed an awful lot. His ability to “hold his own” with the likes of great men such as R.J. Rushdoony was always a treat to witness. Those of us who were there to “catch their crumbs” never went hungry!

I’m blessed to have known him and to have shared a friendship with him.

Robert M. Coie
Robert M. Coie
1 year ago

Dear family,

I am thankful for not only Otto’s books and writings, but also his friendship and the hour or two private chats I had the privileged to have with him once or twice a year when he was in Vallecito.

May the God of all comfort be your peace as Our Lord and King peacefully transferred Otto from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant!

In Christ,

Robert M. Coie and for Martha

Rush’s son-in-law

Dwight D. Murphey
Dwight D. Murphey
1 year ago

Otto had a dignity that never masked his warmth and friendliness. He was a truly learned man, an original thinker, and a person of incredible energy. We met as fellow lecturers at the Freedom’s Foundation, and continued our friendship in the Philadelphia Society. Otto’s gone now, but I’ll always feel his presence.

Jack Phelps
Jack Phelps
1 year ago

The man is fortunate who has 4 or 5 close, true friends in his lifetime. Otto was one of my few and I am much the richer for the countless hours we spent sharing ideas, testing each other’s thoughts and beliefs and just enjoying together our common faith in Christ.

As a keen observer of men and history, he had a unique ability to synthesize information and distill it to the most salient points – a gift that cannot be fully taught, but from which we can learn much. For example, who, having heard it, could forget his observation, “God is no buttercup!”?

Otto will be most widely remembered for his writings – and deservedly so for they are worth many readings. But I shall always remember him as a true and faithful friend, and I will miss him more than words can tell.

Ford Schwartz
Ford Schwartz
1 year ago

Otto was a great man, and a loving father and husband.

Otto predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain just prior to its fall. He did this when no one, other than Ottto, saw it as a possibility.

He also predicted how grim things would be for those behing the Iron Curtain after it fell. He made his predictions in an article published in the Chalcedon Report.

Otto predicted the radical change of government in South Africa just prior to the change that did come to pass. He told me this in a private phone call.

Otto was a good friend to me and my family. He had a great sense of humor and served as a wonderful example of a Christian man. He pursued his calling with courage stength and vigor.

Otto helped me understand the power and importance of intellectual cover.

I thank God to have known him.

Chuck Wagoner
Chuck Wagoner
1 year ago

Sitting in his living room one evening shortly after he had moved from Washington to New Hampshire, Otto said in the course of our conversation, “We’re old friends.” It was a warming remark that often comes to mind when I recall the many times we shared. Yes, he was a mentor, teacher, and business partner — but more than this, he was an old friend in every sense, and I shall miss him.

Dennis Tuuri
Dennis Tuuri
1 year ago

It was a high privilege to know Otto, and to be taught by him, both through his books and in personal conversations. He was one of a vanishing breed of Christian men, men of incredible strength, courage and character whose lives were forged in an annealing oven of a convergence of cultural trends and events that will likely not happen again for a long time. Our loss, of course, is Otto’s gain – a new vigorous body in which he will engage in an eternal life of service to King Jesus.

May the God of all comfort comfort Liz whom I also had the privilege of knowing for a season and the rest of his extended family and friends.

Dennis Tuuri

Ben House
Ben House
1 year ago

Once when the report went out that Mark Twain had died, he–still living–reported that it was an exaggeration. Looking at a shelf of Otto Scott books in my library, I can say the same of him. He lives on in his books and the hearts of his readers. And he lives on in the presence of his Savior Jesus Christ.

Ben House

Hal Bryan
Hal Bryan
1 year ago

From selling newspapers on the streets of Manhattan, where he watched construction of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, to travelling circus roustabout, to singing songs in Portugese on Brazilian trains while his family lived at Rio’s Copacabana Hotel, to carpenter’s apprentice in a coffin factory, to boy helmsman of freighters on the Hudson River, to young man about town in the literary and art circles of New York, to Merchant Seaman crossing the U-boat infested North Atlantic in WWII, to writer of advertising copy on Madison Avenue, to the boardrooms of major companies, where he was called upon to write their corporate histories, to historian par excellence in which he succeded in correcting the historical records of abolitionist John Brown, King James I of England and Robespierre of the French Revolution, who lived again in his prescient books, to speech writer who coined the term “the silent majority”, Otto Scott was a true intellectual heavy- weight, and we will miss his intelect as much as we miss the man. It is my privilege to assist the family in finishing the memoirs he finally decided to write.

Christopher Witmer
Christopher Witmer
1 year ago

I only know Otto Scott through his writings and voice recordings, but I am in great debt to this man who contributed so much to the reformation of my thinking when I became a Christian slightly more than 20 years ago. Our age was not worthy of Otto Scott, and the fact that he was given to us is another proof of God’s lovingkindness. I pray God will raise up many more men like him. There is consolation for us in the knowledge that Otto Scott is rejoicing in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Messiah.

Ellsworth E. McIntyre
Ellsworth E. McIntyre
1 year ago
Dewey Harpainter
Dewey Harpainter
1 year ago

We will miss you until our next uncommon talk in the presence of our Savior.

Bob and Susan Manesajian
Bob and Susan Manesajian
1 year ago

To Liz:

Our condolences to you and your family. I have wonderful memories of your father while I recorded the Easy Chair chats with RJ Rushdoony, your Dad and guests. I was RJ’s son-in-law at the time–hope you remember me.

I am remarried to Susan who owns Calaveras Travel Service who did a lot of your Dad’s and Mom’s travel arrangements. We remember both of them with affection and especially your Dad’s great wit and humor.

He was a speical person and will be greatly missed.

Sam Bechar
Sam Bechar
1 year ago

Otto Scott was my favorite hero. He was a good and gracious man, a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He lived a charmed life and was kind enough to share it with his readers. I felt many times that I was there with him as he traipsed through his magical world.

His sincere courtesy to others, love of letters and of Christian truth made him many friends from every region of the globe. I shall always miss him.

“His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face.” — The Apostle John

Darlene Rushdoony
Darlene Rushdoony
1 year ago

Liz and family,

Our prayers be with you! It has been such a blessing to have known your father and mother. I often think of times we shared together here in the foothills. God has blessed us with having known your father! May God’s peace and comforting hand be with you during this time.

Love in Christ,

Darlene

Phillipa Scott Girardi
Phillipa Scott Girardi
1 year ago

Thank you to all my father Otto Scott’s wonderful friends and admirers. Your kind words are a great comfort to his family.

My father was a remarkable man, a great thinker, writer, and friend to many. As all who knew him could attest, he also had a keen wit, zest for life and adventure, sense of determination and purpose, irresistible charm, and hot temper.

When describing his family in an interview once, my father responded:

“I am a descendant of a long line of businessmen whom I regard as having been productive, creative, and decent men of their times, and I hope to see a world in which we are all able to enjoy liberty without being forced into obeying the blueprints of fanatics.” When asked about his political affiliation, he responded, “The Skeptical Party.”

My father has given me the gift of his love and wisdom, and many precious memories. We had a great deal of fun together: enjoyed New York’s Broadway shows, 21 Club and Smith & Wollensky’s, jazz clubs in Greenwich Village and San Diego, museums, walks in Central Park, and many lively dinners at our home in New Jersey with our dog, Louis, licking his perfectly polished shoes and slobbering on his custom made suits.

I will miss him more than words can describe.

God was kind to us both and granted us one last wonderful time together three weeks ago when my husband, Stephen, and I visited him in Seattle. I had the chance to feed him butter pecan ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner; read to him; sing to him did you know he loved to sing?; tell him off-color Irish jokes; tell him one last time how much I loved him, and, that it was okay to rest. He had done a fine job as my Dad.

On May 21st there will be a Memorial Service held on the East Coast for all his many friends and family who are unable to travel to Seattle to honor him. All are welcome. High Mass will be held at The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew & Holy Communion, 160 West South Orange Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079, at 2PM, followed by fellowship in the Church parish hall.

Thank you all for being a part of my Dad’s rich life and bringing him comfort and companionship.

Warmly,

Phillipa Scott Girardi & Family

Julia Erickson
Julia Erickson
1 year ago

My condolences to Otto Scott’s family on the loss of their beloved father and grandfather. I was fortunate enough to meet Otto through his wonderful daughter Philippa. And I know how very much she loves and values him. That is the measure of a life well lived – and clearly Otto’s was very well-lived.

Ann Elizabeth Scott
Ann Elizabeth Scott
1 year ago

In loving memory:

Product of two cultures, Latin and European, Otto J. Scott was multi-faceted as a gem. It was predicted of him by one of his teachers, “that he would wind up in the gutter or the stars.” It was his fate to experience both. Seldom has one life encompassed such highs and lows, but then, my father was never one to follow the beaten path. His vocation was to be an author and his aim towards that goal was as steady as a star. His other great wish was to reconnect with all four of his daughters and that was granted him, by the Grace of God.

Fiercely independent, passionate, mercurial, intellectual, tender, and uncommonly gifted as a writer, Otto courted controversy like a matador in the ring. In fact, he quoted a Spanish proverb to sum up his attitude towards life: “Fate approaches like a knife held up to your throat; if you crouch, you will be beaten.” Otto never once crouched; and was never beaten. He remained strong and brave until the end, despite personal loss, disability, and illness. I know this because I was with him on the day of his passing. His last words to me were spoken with a smile. His spirit was invincible.

To sum up his extraordinary life, I will use the words of the great psychiatrist: Carl G. Jung, “My heart thirsts for the love of God like the hart deer pants for the watered brook.” And no tribute to Otto would be complete without a Latin quote; so I will let Spanish writer Jose Ortega y Gasset speak, The Revolt of the Masses, “The select man is not the petulant person who thinks himself superior to the rest, but the man who demands more of himself than the rest, even though he may not fulfill in his person those higher exigencies.” This phrase was underlined in my father’s copy of the book and could not be a more fitting epitaph for Otto Scott’s full, imperfect life. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who visited him this past year. His presence will stay with you always.

-Ann Elizabeth Scott, May 13, 2006

Martin Selbrede
Martin Selbrede
1 year ago

Otto was, beyond a doubt, the greatest Christian historian of the 20th century, a fact all the more remarkable since so few understood the calibre of his contributions to cultural and social science. Our friendship lasted more than 20 years, and I had the privilege — and I repeat, privilege — of working with him on his cultural newsletter, “Otto Scott’s Compass,” for many years. I was one of only a few people that Otto would trust to edit his writings, and his willingness to repose such trust in me meant a lot. We will not see his like again any time soon, but I trust the legacy he has left behind will outlast the shallow, superficial fluff now foisted on the masses by today’s pundits.

Otto, though a historian, was a man who looked to the future and the forces shaping it. He understood human nature, which is why he never blinks in confronting it in his writings. I was honored to be his friend, and one of his trusted assistants, and will sorely miss the wisdom and insights he was able to share from the vantage point he occupied so far above the fray of the modern world with its short attention spans and unthinking self-satisfaction.

Of all the men I have known, none have so radiated such personal strength and power in so calm and quiet a package. He often alluded to the qualities of manhood and the decay of these qualities in our culture, but his will was utterly unbreakable. It was fitting that God alone could break him to harness — and that God, rather than reshaping Otto completely, elected to redirect his energies into ever deeper channels. Otto chose to autograph several of his books by identifying himself simply as “a fellow foot-soldier for Christ,” and surely few of His foot-soldiers have held a bastion for Him so tenaciously. Now that God has dismissed him from his labors, may he rest in joyous expectation of the great miracle to come: the summing up of all things in Christ, for which Otto labored so sacrificially in this life.

My prayers go out to his family in this bittersweet time. May they find comfort in God’s promise tthat He “is our eternal refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” Deut. 33:27.

In deepest respect,

Martin Selbrede

Carole Boges
Carole Boges
1 year ago

Although I only knew Otto for less than a year, helping write his memoirs was the experience of a lifetime.

The twists and turns indeed make rivoting reading.

I will never forget his dazzling smile and wicked sense of humor.

Thank you Otto, rest in peace.

Ron and Linda Brown
Ron and Linda Brown
1 year ago

Otto Scott enriched our lives through his gifted ability to relate history in an understandable and most interesting way. We will ever be appreciative. Our sincere condolences to his family.

Thomas D. Schwartz
Thomas D. Schwartz
1 year ago

I never had the privilege of meeting this extraordinary man, but I feel a keen sense of loss at his passing. Mr. Scott was not just one in a million; he was truly one of a kind, and that fact shines through in the remarkable legacy he has left us in the outstanding body of work he produced.

I have listened to several of the “From the Easy Chair” discussions Mr. Scott had with Dr. R.J. Rushdoony numerous times, and I learn something new upon each listening. I am collecting the entire set for my six-year-old son’s later edification and learning. He could not metaphorically sit at the feet of better or greater men as teachers.

My deepest and sincerest condolences are extended to Mr. Scott’s entire family during this difficult time. May God grant them grace to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience, not grieving as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of the promise of eternal life with those they love through our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

I am so very thankful that I came to know of Mr. Scott through his books, newsletter, and recordings of his discussions and lectures. With Dr. Rushdoony, he has been one of the most important influences upon the ways that I both think and live.

Otto Scott Phelps
Otto Scott Phelps
1 year ago

Mr. Scott’s name has been with me all of my life, and I am most honored by that. I can remember visiting him in New Hampshire for a while in 2002, and I treasure the hours spent raking his yard, exploring the creek behind his house, and playing cribbage with my godfather. It was rather funny when my mother would call me and both of us would respond. Dear to me are the letters I received from him on birthdays, the inscription in one of my books reading “We Ottos have to stick together,” and the music book that he gave me when I turned two.

I offer my deepest sypmathies at his passing, and pray that I may live up to the name of this great Christian man by whom we were all so blessed.

Linette Wilson
Linette Wilson
1 year ago

I enjoyed spending time with Otto. He was both dignified and erudite and always had plenty to say. His intellectual prowess was legendary and having the opportunity to get to know him in his later years was quite special. He will be missed by many, I´m sure.

Walter and Megan Lindsay
Walter and Megan Lindsay
1 year ago

Otto was kind and gracious to me when I was uptight and clueless. Having the chance to sit in his living room and visit, to watch him ask wise and fascinating questions when Rush spoke, and to watch how he enjoyed conversation at dinner, has stuck with me for many years.

I must have been really uptight the day he told me how he had lost his library three times, once to fire, if I remember correctly, and had built up a 10,000 volume library each time. Surely I could handle whatever it was that was bothering me!

I new Otto for only a few years in his prime, and have missed him since.

Jim Fout
Jim Fout
1 year ago

It was my pleasure to meet and work with Otto at Ashland Inc. Frequently he would drop into my office and talk. Often after he left I would realize that my conversation with him stimulated my mind in directions I never before experienced.

Over the years my wife and I visited him in Murphys CA and in New Hampshire. Our son and daughter-in-law joined us on this latter visit. As always it was invigorating and a privilege to be with him. Enjoyment of his many books was heightened by the personal relationship I had with him.

Having known Otto will be one of the unique opportunities of my life.

Efrem K. Sepulveda
Efrem K. Sepulveda
1 year ago

Mr. Scott:

Sir. I am glad that you are home now. I visited you in Federal Way in 1995 and even in that two hour time period that I was with you, you showed an abundance of hospitality to me.

I will miss your wisdom from our personal conversations as well as your Compass newsletter. God has called you home as did with my father and mother last year. I look forward to seeing you.