A Loving Tribute

Roseann Scott

January 22, 1930 – February 22, 2023
Submitted by Melinda J. Scott


Roseann (Joyce) Scott died of heart failure in hospice care on February 22, 2023. She turned 93 in January.

She was predeceased by her parents, James Patrick, and Rose (Markus) Joyce, brothers James and William, and ex-husband Melvin Scott. Roseann is survived by her children Jeffry Scott (Debra Kalin), Melissa (Christopher) Johnson, Melinda Scott, Jonathan Scott, and grandchildren Tucker and Mackenna Johnson.

The first thing Roseann shared in a written account of her life is that when she was six, she was bitten by a non-rabid, neighborhood dog. When she was seven or eight, she convinced a nun she could make a mean pie. Roseann was a child of the Depression. She grew up poor but living with parents and grandparents—and eventually two brothers—she never wanted for love and affection.

She graduated high school early, defying her father when she decided to move to California and study to become a nurse. He stopped speaking to her, but that didn’t keep him from sitting at the kitchen table while her mother read Roseann’s letters home aloud. She returned to Denver in 1954 (after becoming a nurse) to care for her father as he was dying of emphysema.

Roseann moved to California before she turned eighteen and got a job at a land bank, as many of her cousins were still in school. She was accepted to Samuel Merritt School of Nursing in Oakland in March of 1949 (where she earned the nickname “Bunny”) and graduated three years later. That September, she married a Naval officer, Melvin L. Scott. Re-stationed by the Navy about every two years, she and her husband relocated with one to four children in tow. She moved her household from Florida to Boulder, Honolulu to Annapolis, then north to Argentia, Newfoundland. After a stint in Rhode Island, the Scotts (now six in number, one an infant) drove across the country in 1967 and settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for nine years.

When Roseann’s husband, Mel, retired from the military, the family moved back to his hometown, Grand Junction, CO. In 1978 Mel and Roseann divorced; she never remarried.

She got a job at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction as a psychiatric nurse in 1977. While working and raising the last of her four children, she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from CU-Denver. She attended a 21-day seminar for nurses in Nairobi, Kenya in 1986. Roseann worked at St. Mary’s well into the ’90s.

She loved entertaining, was at one time a devoted knitter, was always an avid bridge player, read a lot of mysteries, and developed a passion for cooking. She loved good parties and threw them frequently for friends and co-workers. Feeding her family and friends was a demonstration of her love, and she enjoyed testing new recipes for them to try. Roseann loved to laugh, and her delight at something that tickled her was infectious.

Traveling invigorated her. In addition to her trek to Kenya, Roseann went on a sight-seeing tour of China with her eldest, his wife, and her mother, took frequent yearly trips to see old friends at their beach house on the east coast, and, accompanied by her best friend, visited Paris with her daughters and Alaska with her sons.

She was generous, stubborn, nurturing, critical, curious, and droll, with a quirky sense of humor and a refined sense of the absurd. She was bossy and opinionated and a remarkably good listener. She was a seriously practical woman who enjoyed the occasional whimsy and, periodically, was strikingly spontaneous. She was a calculated risk-taker and a bit of a mischief-maker. She said once, as she was nearing the age of 90, “When I die, I hope someone writes, “She left because it got too complicated.” Such comments were classic Roseann.

Roseann declined funeral and memorial services. Instead, she insisted the people who knew and loved her throw a big party, which her family has slated for late June 2023. Instead of flowers, she requested donations to the Mesa County Library. Her last wishes were that her ashes be scattered in a rose garden, and some interred at her parents’ graves in Denver, Colorado, where she was born. She will also be left to watch eternal sunrises on her east coast beach.

Roseann could read people and she knew her mind. She was a remarkable human being, and oh, how we miss her.

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