By Keith Dobbs, president/CEO of CARE Oklahoma
The Norman Transcript
Fred Scott is a noble man — literally and figuratively.
The 102-year-old resident of the Noble Health Center is modest about his personal and professional accomplishments. After only a few minutes in his presence, you’ll know he’s a prince.
With a sharp mind and an incredible memory, Fred recalls a lifetime of love, caring, and sharing. He even spells out the word “love” to make sure he’s understood and the word gets the appropriate respect it deserves.
Fred loved his late wife, Lula. During the last three years of their 67 years of marriage, Fred expressed his love with continual home care for Lula in her paralyzed state.
“He’d turn her every two hours and cooked and cleaned. That house was spotless,” said his youngest daughter, Carrie Black.
Simultaneously, Fred also was the caregiver for a blind aunt who lived two doors down.
When asked why, Fred’s standard answer is, “That’s what love does.”
“If Lula and I wanted to go somewhere, I’d just pick her up and put her in the car.”
Until last year, Fred was still living in his own home and tooling around town in his Oldsmobile Cutlass. Most of his driving was to church, where he taught Sunday school and served as a deacon for more than 70 years.
“I led the singing, too,” Fred said.
Fred provided the transportation to church for two of his widowed neighbors until his daughter took his keys away.
“That car ran like a top. I don’t know why she took the keys away,” he said with a smile. “I’ve never been arrested.”
Many of church members and choir members visit Fred daily at his home in the Noble Health Center, a part of the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers.
“He gets an average of three to four visits a day,” his daughter said.
Fred’s noble approach to life is what attracts people to him. He started working the team of horses at age 12 and continued with hard work throughout his lifetime — farming 160 acres with corn, oats, wheat and alfalfa.
Fred’s mid-life career was serving as the butcher at the University of Oklahoma, a position he had for 20 years.
“Every Monday morning, we got 20 head of cattle,” Fred recalled. “We had to feed the football players.”
Fred said during his time as butcher, they served 5,000 meals a day at OU.
At age 65, Fred learned to water ski, got his real estate license and served as tax assessor for Marshall County, a position he had for 10 years.
“Lula was out fishing 200 days a year, so I had to keep busy. I didn’t buy her a boat, or she would have fished 365 days a year. She wouldn’t have come in out of the rain and cold.”
An avid gardener, Fred’s story has been featured in Guideposts and Virtue magazines and on television numerous times. At one time, he supplied vegetables from his garden to Legend’s Restaurant in Norman.
“When you have 210 tomatoes plants, you can produce a bunch of tomatoes,” he said.
Fred has enjoyed sharing his labors of love with his three children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“I hope I’ve taught them how to grow l-o-v-e and how to work.”
On June 30, Fred celebrated his 102nd birthday by going to church, enjoying a party with more than 200 guests, and then going to visit the sick and frail in the hospital.
Because he’s lived in Franklin (which is two miles south of Hollywood), Madill, Norman and now in Noble, Fred has friends around Oklahoma who love his quick wit, charming personality and Christian faith.
As a retired businessman and active citizen, he’s always able to work some advice into his conversation. One of his quotes is, “I’m in sales, not management. God’s in management.”