All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for June 2004

Scott mother to many, animal lover

June 14, 2004
Erin Snelgrove
The News Review

In many ways, Rhonda Scott didn't know the meaning of the word "enough."

The Roseburg resident took on the role of neighborhood mother to scores of children. She turned her home into an animal shelter, providing a refuge to unwanted pets. She even gave after her death -- as an organ donor to a handful of strangers, giving them her heart, kidneys and pancreas after she died April 24.

"That's just the way she was," said her brother, John Graves of Texas, who made a recent trip to Roseburg. "I miss everything. I miss her. That's pretty much all you can say."

Scott died at the age of 46 after falling from a horse. But despite her passing, the influence she's made on others continues to thrive. She is survived by her husband, Bob Scott; a son, Robert Scott; a daughter, Rhandi Scott; and numerous other relatives and loved ones.

Bob, who works as head of security at Mercy Medical Center, said he met Rhonda in Texas when she was 17 and he was 23. They had watched the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," and when it was over, she stole his watch to make sure he'd come back.

To no one's surprise, he did return to court her -- even when he found out she had lied about her age. By then, he was hooked. The couple married shortly after Rhonda turned 18.

"That Southern belle wrapped this Yankee up, that's all I can say," Bob said.

Bob said his marriage was like any other, filled with its triumphs and tribulations. One of the biggest hurdles they first encountered was having children. She wanted to be a mother right away, but her wish didn't come true until five years later, when she gave birth to Robert. She had their daughter, Rhandi, about six years after that.

"By choice, she was a stay-at-home mom," Bob said, noting that their offspring were her first priority. "She was their friend, their buddy for life."

She instilled in her children many values -- always finish what you start, never judge a book by its cover, and respect your elders. She also taught them that she was someone they could turn to for support.

"No matter what, she always stuck up for anybody," said Rhandi, 17. "She'd find a way to stick up for you."

Bob agrees, saying Rhonda was not only protective with her own children, but with the dozens of other kids that became a familiar presence in their home.

"(You wouldn't dare) talk bad about her kids," he said. "You'd be dog meat."

Her family said Rhonda was a strong and nurturing soul, a person who always put the needs of others before her own. Despite facing numerous health challenges in her life, including a brain surgery and the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis two years ago, she wouldn't let anything stop her from living as she saw fit.

She was the type of person, they said, who would walk into a store to buy gifts for others, not herself. She listened to people's problems and she was particular about keeping her house neat and tidy. She loved her 1999 C230 Turbo Mercedes, and she enjoyed redecorating at every opportunity.

She also had premonitions, feelings when something bad was about to happen. Her family believes, at some level, she knew her end was near because before she died she spent five weeks in Texas making amends with people she hadn't seen for 30 years.

"Subconsciously, she knew it," Bob said. "I know she knew."

Copyright © 2004, The News-Review