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On January 15th, 2024, John Donald Scott—Don—completed his final lap of a marathon battle with leukemia. True to his nature, all day Don was fielding phone calls, encouraging people, thanking everyone who helped him, giving glory to God, reminiscing with his precious Doris, blessing his kids and grandkids. As his family, we will miss him deeply, but we take great comfort in the fact that Don, though he is gone, is now fully healed and alive with Christ as promised in John 11:25.
Don was born in Edmonton on September 15, 1938. He and his siblings were in foster homes, lacking stability until God intervened and provided a loving family for Don when he was 16. At that time, Rev. Emil Axene and his wife took Don and his brothers into their small home after their mother had succumbed to leukemia. It was under the loving, godly guidance of this pastor that Don gave his heart to the Lord. Don served in the Canadian Navy for three years, then went on to graduate from Canadian Bible College in Regina, Saskatchewan. He was ordained by the Christian & Missionary Alliance in 1964 and served three years as a pastor in Saskatchewan before he and his first wife, Nola, went to Laos as missionaries in 1964. In 1971 he joined World Vision where he helped to expand World Vision’s work in Asia and Latin America until he and his family returned to Canada in 1983 where Don continued to work for World Vision Canada. Don was president of World Vision Canada from 1987 until 1995 and then worked closely with World Vision International leadership until he retired in 2003.
Don was married to Nola for 56 years. Together they served the Lord around the world and raised their kids with humour, grace, and deep love. It is because of our parents’ examples and witness that each of us loves Jesus. Don always said that it was because of Nola that he could became the man God intended him to be. Nola suffered with dementia for ten years, and Don faithfully cared for her throughout that difficult journey until she passed away in August 2014. Dad was our role model as we cared for him these past three years.
Don first met Doris (Johnson) Pearson when they were teenagers because her uncle, Emil Axene, was the pastor who provided a home for Don and his brothers. Doris lost her first husband Earl in August 2014, and in Doris and Don’s words, they were “surprised by grace” when they saw each other with new eyes and married on October 10th, 2015. God blessed them with fun memories and deep spiritual friendship over these last eight years. They lived on Doris’ acreage east of Wetaskiwin and together enjoyed the blessing of eight children and more than 20 grandchildren in their combined families.
Don was a great storyteller. He loved to share about the impact the years of walking the mountains of Laos had on his life. He would tell of the miraculous events that transpired in the last days before the fall of Saigon. Every story demonstrated his love for God and for people as well as his evangelist’s heart. We saw this same commitment to love God and people and share Jesus as he walked hospital halls in Edmonton and Wetaskiwin over these past three years.
Don leaves behind his precious wife, Doris Pearson Scott; his grown children who he loved very much, Lorilee (and Scott) MacLean, Heidi Scott, Jeff (Nisa) Scott, and Mark Scott; along with eleven well-loved grandchildren, TJ, Mitch (Kaitlin), Jessie (Caleb), Wil (Rebecca), Mia (Adam), Olivia, Neve, Hugh, Grey, Nola, Nathan; and great-grandson Jack. Don was treasured by his first wife, Nola, who predeceased him in 2014. He will be missed by his foster brother, David (Dawn) Axene; and his sister-in-law, Eleanor Scott and their families. He also leaves behind Doris’ kids who he loved, Shar (Brian) Warkentin, Gregg (Lori) Pearson, Brendalyn (Rob) Molzahn, Kent (Jenn) Pearson; and all the Pearson grandchildren. Don also dearly loved his nieces, nephews, and many friends around the world.
As a family, we want to express our deep thanks to the medical teams who cared for Don over the past three years -- the nurses, lab technicians, medical doctors, kitchen and cleaning staff of Unit 33 and Unit 35 at Wetaskiwin General Hospital. We especially thank Christy and her colleague Melinda at the Fusion Centre who lovingly kept Don boosted with blood and platelets in Chair #1 for two full years. We are grateful for Dr. Brandwein, Divisional Director of Hematology at the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, who expertly cared for Don, and Bushra Alam who facilitated Don’s participation in a first-of-its-kind drug trial for patients with AML under Dr. Brandwein’s leadership. We also thank Michael Marcin who faithfully got Dad to his appointments as well as to Denny’s whenever that was possible.
Mostly, we give glory to God. Don—Dad—finished his race well, by the grace of God. He always said that he never feared death because of his faith in Christ. He was believable, and we will miss him so much. A service of gratitude to God in memory of Don will be held on Friday, January 26th at 1:30 pm at New Sweden Mission Church in Wetaskiwin. A livestream of the service will also be available. https://youtube.com/live/oQJoxpy2v0U?feature=share
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Alberta Cancer Foundation
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Wetaskiwin Health Foundation
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