Robert (Bob) Michael Scoville, age 79 of Graham, WA passed away peacefully at his brother's home in Winnebago, MN on December 4, 2022. Ten months earlier, he and his wife Cathy had gone to Minnesota for him to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Born and raised in Minnesota, the son of Burvill and Enid (Topinka) Scovill, Bob graduated from high school in 1962. He went on to complete a degree in Sociology, and then moved to Michigan where he taught elementary school and met Cathy. They married in 1969 and moved to Oregon for a short time where Bob sold insurance. Upon his decision to pursue a career in occupational therapy, they moved to Tacoma, Washington where he received a degree at the University of Puget Sound. He was then employed by Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup from 1974 until his retirement in 1998. During those years he earned the affection and respect of his peers, the gratitude of his patients, and in 1988 was named "Samaritan of the Year."
Occupational therapists are fond of professing "O.T.'s are adaptable" (a play on words). But in life, Bob was adaptable in the truest sense of the word. He had a gift for problem solving. A "jack of all trades," he built a beautiful home for his family, and generously helped others with their home repairs and remodeling projects. A very good cook, he is best remembered for his holiday turkeys, delicious dressing, and a special cranberry salad. An avid bargain hunter, he enjoyed shopping, including a few thrift shops known for buried treasure. He also enjoyed running marathons, especially the 100th Boston Marathon! In his later years he learned the practice of tai chi. And he always looked forward to driving down the coast with Cathy in their motorhome.
Bob loved to drive! As an occupational therapist, he taught patients to drive again. He never tired of the commute between town and his home in the country. He also liked to explore roads less traveled, just to see where they would lead. On one such adventure in their motorhome, he found himself on a road that grew more and more narrow, with a steep hill on one side and a cliff on the other! With no way to turn around, Cathy and their dog followed on foot while he slowly continued onward. Once out of danger, with passengers back on board, they passed an elderly man standing aghast in his front yard, in disbelief at their sudden appearance from nowhere!
When Bob purchased a newer motorhome, he and a good friend flew across the country to pick it up. Driving home along empty stretches of highway with the music of Willy Nelson's "On the Road Again," they decided to take an unplanned detour to see the Grand Canyon! Bob was always ready for adventure and happy to be on the road again. But he also loved being at home in the country, with his family and their pets, surrounded by the beauty of tall evergreen trees.
After Bob's passing, one of his many friends described him as "a Rare and Precious Treasure and a Model of Humanity at its Best." He is remembered for his generosity, his integrity, and a kind heart. Calm and easygoing, he also had a pleasant sense of humor. To all who knew him, he was the truest of friends. To his wife and sons, he was a devoted husband and father. At the end of life's journey, as the road grew more and more narrow, with faith and courage he continued onward till he reached the other side. His friends are eternally grateful to his family members who cared for him so lovingly on that final road to his next adventure.
Bob is survived by his wife of 53 years, Catherine (Oglesbee) Scoville; their sons, Christopher Brook Scoville and James (Jamie) Scoville; three brothers, Jerry (Carole) Scovill of Winnebago, MN, Patrick Scovill of Newark, TX, Rick (Karen) Scovill of Hibbing, MN; his sister, Mary Beth Wanhala of Hibbing, MN; his sister-in-law, Sandi Scovill of Hibbing, MN, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, David Scovill; his brother-in-law, John Wanhala; and his sister-in-law, Ann Scovill.
A private mass was held on Friday, December 12, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, and funeral arrangements were through Spencer-Owen Funeral Home, both in Winnebago, MN. A celebration of life will be held in the spring; location, date, and time to be determined.
Condolences and memories can be shared at www.spencerowen.com