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Bill Dodds-Scott was a volunteer, businessman and community leader

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Kelley Cox Post Independent file photoWilliam "Bill" Dodds-Scott offered a salute during Independence Day festivities in 2004. The tireless community volunteer and 50-year scoutmaster died Sunday at the age of 86.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A large crowd of mourners is expected to bid farewell today to Western Slope native William “Bill” Dodds-Scott, a longtime Scout leader and tireless volunteer.

Dodds-Scott died Sunday at the age of 86, after a brief but intense period of health problems, according to his daughter, Bonnie Waller.

Born in Rifle on July 4, 1926, Dodds-Scott was a veteran of World War II, a small businessman, heralded member of the Elks and the Masons, and volunteered for many organizations over the years, his daughter said.



All told, Waller said, her father volunteered for at least 132 commissions, committees or local organizations over the years, serving as chairperson for 70 of those groups.

High on the list are sanitation boards, volunteer fire departments and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, she said.



But his biggest impact on the communities he served in was his 50 years as scoutmaster of Troop No. 225 of the Boy Scouts of America.

“We’re going to miss Bill,” said Tom Dykema, current troop committee chairman for Boy Scouts Troop No. 225 in Glenwood Springs.

“He was sort of a lone-eagle scoutmaster,” Dykema added. “Bill kind of marched to his own drummer now and then.” His style did not always match the thinking of the state or national scouting organizations regarding how to run a troop.

“For the last few years, I’ve called him Scoutmaster Emeritus,” Dykema said with a chuckle. “He brought the troop into the modern era.”

During Dodds-Scott’s tenure, according to published accounts and the testimony of family and friends, Dodds-Scott helped to inspire 65 teens to reach the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest attainable in the Boy Scouts program.

Glenwood Springs native Rob Delaney, who was a Scout while Dodds-Scott was scoutmaster, recalled him as tough and dedicated to the ideals of scouting.

“We’d get a lot of 50-mile hikes, a lot of camping, including winter camping,” Delaney recalled. “It was very much an outdoors thing.”

In addition, Delaney said, Dodds-Scott would take the troop to jamborees around the country.

Once, Delaney recalled, Dodds-Scott drove the troop in a cranky old school bus to a jamboree at Valley Forge, Pa., the encampment where Gen. George Washington wintered his exhausted troops during the American Revolution. Then-President Lyndon Johnson flew in by helicopter to give a quick speech to the assembled Scouts, Delaney said.

One year, Delaney said, Dodds-Scott decided to put together his own Scout camp at Sylvan Lake, disregarding the organization’s rules and procedures in his drive to get it done.

“He just did the logistics of the whole thing by himself,” Delaney said with a tone of soft amazement in his voice.

He said Dodds-Scott used his military training and experience to encourage the Scouts.

“It got us pretty motivated. Without him, I would never have made Eagle. I’d have dropped out,” Delaney said.

Dodds-Scott also gave hunter safety classes to countless local residents, was a local instructor for the Junior National Rifle Association and was the director of the Garfield County Civil Defense organization from 1971 to 1984, according to Waller.

Some time in the 1970s, Waller said, her father was a volunteer with an organization known as the Sheriff’s Posse, when it was sent to Aspen to quell a riot.

“They were sent up there for control, to control the situation,” Waller remembered with a laugh.

Dodds-Scott was recognized so many times for his volunteer work, Waller had difficulty reciting them all.

In 1967, she said, he was awarded the Vigil Honor Order of the Arrow by the Boy Scouts, and in 1969 the organization handed him the Silver Beaver badge, the highest honor offered by the organization.

He was the Exalted Ruler of the local Elks Lodge No. 2286, twice, and was an honored member of the local Masonic Lodge No. 65, Waller recounted.

In 1986, he was named Elk of the Year by his fellow lodge members, in 1998 he received the Humanitarian Service Award for adult volunteers, and in 2007 he was recognized by the Masons for 50 years of service to the organization with a spaghetti dinner in his honor.

“The 50-year pin made me feel real good,” Dodds-Scott said at the time of the Masons banquet. “It’s an honor.”

Proud of his time in the armed services, Dodds-Scott served on the advisory board of the Rifle Veterans Nursing Home from 1992 to 1994. Other volunteer work included service on the Garfield County Corrections Board, the West Glenwood Sanitation Board, and the Reynolds Cain Ditch board, said Waller.

She said his name was twice written into the Congressional Record by former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, in 1988 and in 1999.

As she was going through the list, Waller exclaimed, “Wow. I didn’t know half of this stuff.” She noted that she moved to New Mexico in 1976 and was not present for the last 35 years of her father’s volunteer career.

But while she was living here, she said, “We never went on vacation. Seriously. When we were younger, we volunteered. When Dad did something, it became a family something.”

Aside from all the volunteering, Waller said, Dodds-Scott owned two business – Scott Coal Co. and then the Scott Rubbish Removal firm – and worked for years at the Little Engine Shop owned by Clarence Muhme.

Confronted with his own immense record of volunteerism, Dodds-Scott told the Post Independent in 2007, “I think I’ve volunteered for everything in the county.”

The memorial service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today at the Elks Lodge, 51939 Highway 6 in West Glenwood Springs. Overflow parking and shuttle service will be provided starting at 2:45 p.m. from the Glenwood Church of Christ, at Soccer Field and along Donegan Road near Glenwood Springs Middle School.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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