Ferris, Scott 65, resident of Portland, Oregon, died quickly and painlessly of cardiac arrest at the family lake cabin in Minnesota on July 5, 2013. He was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, the first child of John Alexander and Claire Fleming Ferris, on June 14, 1948. Before he was three, the family moved to Duluth, Minnesota, where Scott lived until he graduated from high school. He attended Congdon Elementary and Ordean Junior High, graduating from Duluth East High School in 1966. All his life, Scott spoke of his good fortune in having the friends, as well as school and church environment he had during his boyhood in Duluth. He received an appointment to West Point from then Senator Walter Mondale. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in business. After college, Scott served in the U.S. Army, attending advanced engineering training at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, and after the VietNam cutbacks, completed his military obligation in the U.S. Army Reserves, retiring as a Captain. His highly successful sales career began with Horton Manufacturing, Inc., manufacturers of industrial clutches and brakes. As a Regional Sales Manager, he managed a network of Independent Sales Reps, and immediately gained a reputation for his expertise in the application of clutches and brakes for a wide variety of industrial applications. In 1979, Scott became a Sales Representative for The Smythe Company, an independent sales rep agency in Portland, Oregon, representing manufacturers of power transmission/motion control products from across the U.S. and Europe for industrial applications throughout the Pacific Northwest. He became President of The Smythe Company, retiring on December 31, 2011. Scott appreciated mechanical design and function, and was a gifted and well respected application engineer for the manufacturers he represented. His abilities to analyze brake/ clutch applications were held in high esteem by his peers and customers in the power transmission industry. His love of mechanical function surfaced as a young boy as he nurtured his interest in motorcycles and munitions. Over the course of his life, Scott owned numerous motorcycles and had become very interested in electric motorcycles. He developed skill in motocross, enduro, and tour riding as well as fine tuning his racing skills. He became a solid student of military history with keen interest in the Civil War as well as WWII. He was an excellent marksman. Scott's appreciation of the good use of the English language resulted in his ability to use it skillfully. Scott's love of the dogs and cats he and his wife cared for over the years was well known. Scott began working 12 Step Programs in 1976. Over the course of more than three decades, he became a pillar of 12 Step work in Portland and the Northwest, participating in several programs. Scott was recognized for his ability to welcome newcomers to 12 Step work. As he matured, Scott and his wife showed an ever increasing interest in solving social problems, donating time and money to organizations that focused on solving social ills. Scott was preceded in death by his brother, Cyrus Yale Ferris (1954-1987), and his sister, Nancy Alexandra Fleming Ferris (1950-2003), and his parents. He is survived by his beloved wife, Susan Aileen Matheson Ferris, and his sister, Jane Salsich LeRoy of Austin, Texas, as well as five nephews and one niece. Scott was buried with military honors at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis/St. Paul on July 11, 2013, and a memorial service was held at the church of his boyhood, St. Paul's Episcopal, in Duluth, Minnesota, on July 12, 2013. A memorial service will be held in Portland, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 147 19th Avenue, on Tuesday, October 22, at 1 p.m. Participating in the Portland service will be Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald of Toronto, Canada, a friend from Scott's boyhood. Those wishing to make a contribution in Scott's name could donate to Amnesty International, 5 Penn Plaza, NYC, NY 10001 or to a fund recently created by the suggestion of Scott's Duluth classmates, the Scott Ferris Memorial Education Fund of PAVSA (Program to Aid Victims of Sexual Assault), 32 East 1st St., Duluth, Minnesota 55802.
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.