Grace Scott Obituary (2022) – Elkins Park, PA

Grace Scott, 92, of Elkins Park, a devoted mother, wife, prominent social worker, and member of the Mount Airy Church of God in Christ of Philadelphia, died Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Born August 16 at Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia . In 1929, the longtime resident of Cheltenham Township, including Wyncote, succumbed to heart disease at Jefferson Abington Hospital, where her husband, the late Henry Scott, MD, died on Thanksgiving Day in 2008. Scott had retired as a longtime social worker with the Women’s Christian Alliance in North Philadelphia, where she served as a supervisor in the foster family department. She previously worked at the Pentagon in Washington DC as an administrative assistant in the early 1960s while her husband attended Howard University’s medical school. During her stay at the Pentagon, she developed an almost lifelong friendship with colleague Emily Catherine Porter, who would one day serve as assistant to the US Supreme Court’s first African-American judge, Thurgood Marshall. Always an advocate for the less fortunate, one of her most fulfilling and inspiring times in Washington was in 1963 when she attended the March on Washington, in which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. She said the event helped inspire her future careers in social work. The family moved back to Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, where she helped her husband build a very successful general medicine company in Philadelphia’s Tioga division, often bringing in her administrative expertise. A humanist dealing with poverty and social conditions, Grace graduated from Lincoln University near Oxford, Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in social work as an older adult in the late 1970s and early 1980s Philly’s Temple University Honors at both colleges upon graduation. During her career with the Women’s Christian Alliance, she was recognized for her unwavering determination to protect the rights of foster children and to ensure that they live in decent conditions. She enjoyed being the voice and protector of the weakest children in society. Grace (nee Middleton) Scott was originally raised in nearby South Philadelphia by William and Emma Lou Middleton, with Sea Island and other roots in South Carolina and Georgia, the fourth of nearly a dozen siblings. The family moved to Philadelphia in the mid-1920s and “Great Migration” of blacks from the South due to the racism of the Jim Crow era. Although she admitted that “making ends meet” while her father William supported the extended family as a dockworker on the Philadelphia coast, the family were closely connected and godly. In Philadelphia, the growing family attended the historic Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, an important institution in the black community that raised awareness of the needs of African Americans and others. Already an avid reader in elementary and high school (William Penn), she was very active in college settlement house and camp as an adolescent young lady. In fact, she first met her future husband Henry Scott at an early social gathering sponsored by the agency, before greeting each other again at a picnic in Fairmount Park, the beginning of a relationship that would mark nearly 60 years of marriage. The couple became very active members of the Zion Baptist Church on Broad and Venango Streets in Philly’s Tioga Ward, beginning with the Rev. Dr. Leon Sullivan. She enthusiastically got involved in several aid groups, the church choirs and Sullivan’s extremely successful OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Centers), which encouraged people of African descent worldwide and contributed to the dissolution of apartheid in South Africa. Other church activities included hand praise (sign language) and participation in various “older” organizations in Zion and Mount Airy. Outside of church, she loved playing the flute, traveling to medical conventions, and other events, including Broadway plays, family gatherings, and crocheting. With eight sisters and two brothers close by, Scott has enjoyed trips to the South Carolina Sea Islands with several of them over the past several years. She was particularly impressed with her research into her Gullah Geechee ancestors and their connections to the historic Penn School on St. Helena Island, north of where her paternal Middleton and Mitchell ancestors were enslaved on Spring Island from the late 18th century onwards had been. Some were among the first black soldiers to fight for the Union in the Civil War. A century later, the Rev. King and his staff would be strategizing at the school. In fact, she was often referred to as “Amazing Grace” for her exceptional strength and determination, and was extraordinarily proud to raise four surviving sons, Donald Scott, Sr. (Willetta), David Scott (Eloise), Henry Jr., Esq. (Claudia) and L. Glenn Scott, Esq., All graduates with advanced degrees. She was raised by husband Henry Scott, MD, parents William and Emma Lou (Hall), and siblings James Middleton (Bernice), John Middleton, Mary Kelly (Prince), Eleanor Stepney (James), E loise Johnson (Willie.) ), Elizabeth Spann (John), Lynette Mamie Frisby (Clarence) and brother-in-law Shelby Sullivan. Surviving siblings include Mabel Byrd and Ruth Sullivan (Shelby). She also leaves grandchildren Donald Scott Jr. (Jacinta), Kristopher Henry Scott (Bonnie), Sabriya Scott-Caffrey, MD (James), Joshua Roderick Scott (Gloria) and Leah Kristina Scott, as well as great-grandchildren. Nephews, nieces and special friends. Funeral arrangements through the Beckett-Brown and Hodges Funeral Home include a funeral service on Friday, January 14th at noon at Ivy Hill Cemetery, 1201 Easton Road, Philadelphia, and a memorial service at a later date. Details will be announced. The family asks for donations instead of flowers to the Black Doctors Consortium c / o Grace Scott, Achtung Karol Mason, 419 Johnson Street, Jenkintown, PA 19046 or https://gofundme.com/f/covid19-BDCC.

Published by Montgomery Newspapers January 11th to January 16th, 2022.

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