Scott Ian Rubenstein
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September 28, 1947 - July 25, 2019 Scott Ian Rubenstein passed away peacefully July 25th in West Hollywood with family at his side. * * * *An active member of the Writers Guild of America, West, Scott Ian Rubenstein started making up stories after reading a nursery rhyme about soldiers fighting in the bed covers and he's been telling stories ever since. He was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Queens, New York to Jewish parents. His father, Saul, was a Prisoner of War in World War II (held captive by the Japanese) and survived the Hell Ships, Bataan Death March and work camps. His mother, Shirley, was an irreverent writer and bookkeeper who moved the family across country to San Rafael when Scott was thirteen. Scott has always been a Giants fan (starting when they were the New York Giants, now San Francisco Giants) going against his parents' love for the then Brooklyn Dodgers - he's always been a rebel. Scott attended San Rafael High School with a head full of curly black hair and a dry sarcasm. He was voted "Funniest," and went on to major in Political Science at University of California, Davis and minored in Drama. He joined the Peace Corps, choosing the Philippines because his father was grateful for the kindness Filipino villagers and guerilla scouts showed him by sneaking food to the captives between the barbed wires. After graduating, Scott ended up teaching Catholicism (as a Jew) in Sacramento at Christian Brothers. One day he saw a small ad in a local newspaper that 20th Century-Fox was sponsoring a writing contest. Scott told his students that he wanted to enter and write an episode of the 1970s hit show, "Welcome Back, Kotter." He involved the students as he developed his spec episode and won one of ten spots, which brought him to Los Angeles where he joined the prestigious Fox's Comedy Writing Workshop. Over the lifetime of his writing career, Scott wrote over thirty episodes and a MOW, "Diet Doctor" for Television, which included shows like "Star Trek: TNG," "MacGyver," "9 to 5" "Night Court", "Hunter" and "Cagney and Lacey." In addition to writing for Star Trek: TNG, he was also the Story Editor. Scott was also a contributor to Now Write: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, published by Tarcher/Penguin in 2014, writing the chapter "Surprise in the 24th Century." Later in his writing career, he was an often-times collaborator with wife, Devorah, writer-director-producer. On their first date they wrote an improvised poem, taking turns with consecutive lines. They continued to collaborate on a number of commercial as well as artistic projects, winning the Discovery Program Award where they co-wrote "Peacock Blues," for ShowTime. The 35mm short film won a number of awards, including best short film and audience favorite for The International Moondance Film Festival. Together they penned and exec-produced several short documentaries. Their doc, "Not Afraid to Laugh," about using humor to fight cancer, is archived in the National Museum of Broadcasting for "Social Relevance and Historical Significance." Scott loved numbers and story puzzles; he trademarked "The 24-hour Story Clock," about the progression of story units. His love of numbers and people lead him to also being an accountant. He has been Co-owner at LA Tax Service since its inception in 1982. He has always managed to juggle his career as an accountant and business owner with being a writer and a creator. Both writing and accounting allowed him to perform miracles on the page, but his best performances came as a stand-up comedian who won "Funniest Accountant in Los Angeles" in the 1990s. For the last eight years, Scott and his wife have been studying and performing improvisation for the Sills/Spolin Theater Works with Aretha Sills. Scott was creating his third career as an actor and was featured on John Stewart's "The Daily Show" and "The New Girl," and had recently been cast in director/singer India Dupre's edgy thriller as the surprise antagonist. A positive protagonist in the lives of emerging writers, Scott taught screenwriting, comedy writing and adaptation for the screen for over a decade throughout Southern California including California State University, Northridge and University of Southern California. He has lectured about writing and/or taxes and lectures internationally. One of these lectures led to a popular DVD for Creative Screenwriting, entitled, "How to Write Your Script and Deduct Your Expenses Off Your Tax Return." Scott was also a published poet and has written over 100 poems, some of which are on the backs of receipts and dirty napkins. He tried writing on a sock, but it got washed. Scott is described as a funny, kind, humble and generous man who loved people, travel and stories. He was an incredible listener with a big heart and love of imagination and surprises. He was always playful, loved sports and games and did not hesitate to sit on the floor or to put on silly costumes if requested by his grandchildren. He had a tremendous sense of humor about himself and life. His LA Tax Service newsletters that he wrote for over thirty years are legendary in combining humor with real tax tips.Scott is survived by his wife, Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein, his two children, Aaron Rubenstein and Sara Rubenstein Gavin, along with five, curious and creative grandchildren, close family and friends, including hundreds of beloved clients who Scott advised throughout his life.Family will be hosting a Memorial and Celebration of Life in Los Angeles, August 10th. Please consider a donation to:Scott Rubenstein Memorial Poetry Fund c/o American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial SocietyATTN: Judy Pruitt23 Elwell RdJamaica PlainMA 02130Mail check to above or paypal:**** And/or ****Teacher Scholarship FundThis is the link:

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Jul. 28 to Aug. 6, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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26 entries
March 4, 2020
Our children and grandkids
Scott and I met in 2001. My son and his daughter met at USC. When they married in 2007, we became family. I have heard the expression you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends. I was fortunate to have Scott in my life as both a family member and a friend. He was smart, funny, patient and kind. We were both born in NY and moved to California later in life. We shared two wonderful grandchildren. I will miss his quick wit and infectious smile. He was a unique person. He is sorely missed. I really hope there is an afterlife, because he was a person I would like to see and laugh with again. RIP
Nancy Gavin
October 3, 2019
It is October and I am saddened to just learned of Scotts passing:(. I have known Scott since 1992 . He has been doing my taxes since my first documentary film, Not Bad for a Girl. Kyle Seidenbaum (RIP), introduced us and he has done everything he could to be the best CPA. He has always been a patient, kind, big hearted, funny man. Besides our love for film, we had the whole NY thing in common, which is where I live. I looked upon Scott as a friend, mentor and even a dad. He was talented and immensely supportive and he will be greatly missed. Thank you Scott for your special gifts. Now I see you soar in the eternal spirit realm; playfully dancing with metaphors. My prayers to family: Devo, Aaron, Sarah. Be in peace xo Dr Lisa
Dr Lisa
August 30, 2019
In looking over the condolences for Scott, I am pleased and surprised to see names of people I've known from my Hollywood days who also knew him but I didn't know they did until now. He touched so many of us through his unique mix of tax "therapy" as I called it, with his wit and humor, and his ability to treat LA Tax clients as friends. He is missed, by myself and all the others, and will be long remembered as a special person, friend and deep beautiful soul.
August 15, 2019
Like many friends of Scott's, I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing. He was much much more to me than an accountant. Every year we shared photos and news updates of our family, our wives, and grandchildren. His daughter and my daughter shared the same birth year and both chose similar professions. I truly feel as if I have lost a member of my own family.
I will miss you Scott as long as the universe endures and there is laughter.
You are one of my heroes, Scott!
In closing, I wish to quote a line from Hamlet: "Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
Richard Sawyer
August 15, 2019
Richard Sawyer
August 15, 2019
We are saddened to learn of the death of Scott, but grateful for his service to our nation with the Peace Corps in the Phillipines.
Our condolences,
The National Peace Corps Association
August 13, 2019
I'd love to come to your house and play all your records."
-- Scott Rubenstein

Most people give me a look when they hear how close I was to my accountant. The TAX GUY?! they say, and I nod.
Because Scott was never just the tax guy, despite his talent for talking to you while punching numbers into his calculator, resulting in a long strip of paper and a figure that he'd tell me he'd soon be sucking out of my bank account.

There wasn't a line between what you needed to tell Scott (expensing a trip, selling a car) and what you wanted to share with him as a friend.

He was the guy my husband and I went to talk to after my father died, and it was so much more than death, money, and taxes. When we got worried about certain matters, his email was quick and direct: I can answer probably 98.2% of your questions and can find 1.8% of the answers by referring you to people.

He taught us how to play bridge, and for the first few lessons we played with the cards exposed. He figured out the probabilities, then explained how he arrived at the bidding, and then we would play out the hands to see how his predictions went. It was amazing to learn in this way.

When we told him about yoga organizations who stiffed us, his response was a story about someone who built a fish pond in the hopes of being more zenlike, but ended up installing a motion detector plus sprinkler system plus robot crane to keep raccoons from sneaking in to eat the fish heads.

When my father had a heart attack I tried to get him to do yoga, and his response was that he was adamantly against going upside down. Scott suggested I offer him yogurt first and try to convert him. Every time I think about this I laugh.

The last time I saw Scott I told him I was getting into competitive ping pong and he told the story from when he was in the Peace Corps in the Philippines about playing ping pong with a guy, and then beating the guy, who turned out to be the mayor of the village. Scott had a guilty look on his face when he said, I'm pretty sure that was not a good idea.

There are a million more Scott stories, and we are sure going to miss him. Hopefully he's fully converted in the afterlife, hanging upside down and eating yogurt at the same time, and being challenged to a ping pong rematch. Here's to kicking that mayor's butt again.
Angie Lee
August 12, 2019
I worked for Scott at LA Tax Service from 1/1999 to 2/2008. I just found out he has passed. I was so sad to hear this. He was a great guy to work for and I'm sending my condolences to his friends and family.
Jim Dias
August 9, 2019
Fun Attire 1977
My original entry disappeared I think. I knew Scott from what I'll refer to as my previous life. Scott was one of my first friends when I visited, and then later, moved to the U.S. in the late 70's. As a young, "just-from-England" woman who was dating, then subsequently married ;-), one of his best friends at the time I got to know Scott pretty well. He made me laugh. A lot! He had me say "squirrel". A lot. He teased me about my accent. He was kind and caring, talented and hilarious. Even though it's been many years since I've seen him, I mourn for the lack of his presence in this world. He made the world better and made a great impression on a young woman about to start a new life. RIP.
Jan Knight
August 8, 2019
My wife Michelle and I are deeply saddened by Scott's passing. There is no one else that could ever make me feel good about paying my taxes. Scott had a way of doing that through his jokes and the sharing of our lives. We would walk out of Scott's office feeling great no matter how bad or good the tax season would be. Almost 20 years ago we moved from Los Angeles to Orange County but would never think of seeing anyone other than Scott. We would joke with Scott about how many hours in traffic it would take us to reach his office but we wouldn't have it any other way. Scott was like family to Michelle and I. You will be so missed and the world was such a better place with you in it. Goodbye dear friend.
Jim Fitzpatrick
August 8, 2019
Don't Ask Why? :-) 1977
Jan Knight
August 6, 2019
I am so sad to read about this. RIP Scott. No one else could make me laugh while writing checks to the IRS. Janie Hoffman
August 5, 2019
I always considered Scott more of a friend rather than my accountant. He made me laugh every time I saw him, even if it was only once a year. We shared stories about our lives and Gail and I never felt we couldn't be completely open with him. He was a special, special man. Our deepest condolences to Devorah, who we also got to know through the years. Scott, old buddy, we will miss you a lot. Tax time will never be the same without your smilies and jokes.
Barry Gordon
August 5, 2019
Wow. What a loss to all of us. I am one of Scott's biggest fans (though I know that puts me in a stadium-length line of wonderful people).

From the funniest student in high school to the funniest accountant in LA, Scott truly made everyone around him relax emotionally but stay sharp intellectually and creatively.

He enveloped everyone who was graced with his presence in his sweet, kind humor; his generous spirit; huge glowing heart and sharp keen mind.

What a loss. So sorry Devo. You had an amazing, wonderful life with him and now so many memories to wrap yourself in as you miss him.

I am so glad to hear he was surrounded by his lovely family when he passed in peace. I don't know of a better way to go.

Our great loss, heaven's great gain.
Heather Hale
August 4, 2019
Scott was my friend and my accountant- a truly good guy with brilliance and compassion- my heart is heavy. Sending Devo and the family lots of love.
Deborah Gilels
August 3, 2019
A gem. Thank you for being an amazing teacher and a great guy. Best to you, Devo
Christine (CE) Owens
August 3, 2019
August 3, 2019
Hi honey - Looking at your gorgeous soulful face, I can only see love. the love you shone and shared with all who knew you. Your honored me for twenty five years with your magic act and I thought it would never end. And the truth is that you are everywhere, compounded by the hand of goodness, in my heart. I miss you, and am so happy we had this fabulous life. And, as the saying goes, I know you hate cliches, I wish we had more. TO want more is a tribute to what is. Love, Devorah
July 31, 2019
A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.
-Paul Valery

From the moment one met Scott, it was clear that you had encountered not only a great man but, in our case, it signaled the beginning of a profoundly, inspired friendship. Scott was a rock to so many, with his enormous heart, genuine sensitivity, incomparable wit and a most jocose manner. He was always encouraging others in ways that lifted their spirits, fueled creativity and the desire to tell ones story. His presence lent a calmness to the journey no matter the difficulties encountered along the way.

We shared so much the New York thing, sports and Bob Dylan to mention but a few. How very pleased we were in these last six months, to be present for several performances with their improv group, most especially the utter joy and love shown for his beloved, Devorah as the two interacted gleefully in the various exercises. But perhaps most of all, being together again at the Altadena Poetry Review as they recited their poems. The sheer power and visceral reading of his "Chant Long Forgotten," in that pensive and emotive manner moved us deeply.

This ones for you, Scotty, our version of that moment with everlasting gratitude for all the years, and our deepest Love and Sympathy to Devo, Aaron and Sara and to the entire Rubenstein-Cutler Family.

CoLabART - Lynn Small + Dennis Paul
July 31, 2019
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July 31, 2019
We love you Sir Scott
Devorah, Aaron, Sara, & all the uber special G-kids ... Our hearts reach out to all of you. Major condolences to you and your extended loving family. Like his favorite baseball team, Scott remains a Giant of a man. Loving husband, father, and friend. A tried and true Mensch in every sense of the word. A humorous perspective on life/family that was always unique and refreshing. A spirit that soared & prevailed even during tough times. A champion for all of his clients. Yes, without question, Scott will be missed. He will be missed by so many - - especially all of you. But I know we will carry him with us and reflect upon his devoted nature, conviction to cause, unflappable nature, and especially his wit in times of need. With love and gratitude for Scott's friendship, humor, love and compassion, The McNamara family; Jeanie, Robert, Mike, Tom and Mim
Robert J McNamara
July 30, 2019
We are saddened to learn of the death of Scott, but grateful for his service to our nation with the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

Our Condolences,
The National Peace Corps Association
July 29, 2019
My heart just sank when I heard the news of Scott's passing. A kind funny and wonderful spirit. I have been a client of his for over twenty years and we always shared our stories, laughter and of course caught up both of our daughter's adventures whose names are both Sarah. I will miss those conversations, the laughs and newsletters at the end of the year. RIP my friend. My love and light and condolences go out to the family.

PS. Please let me know where his celebration of life will be.
Bill Weinman
July 28, 2019
I can't believe Scott's gone.

He was one of the warmest, funniest people I've ever known.
Just thinking about how those qualities blended so well in him: his wit was tolerant of people's foibles, never cruel. He celebrated the pleasures and perils of day-to-day life. I doubt anyone else had so much fun with tax regulations.

I am in shock. it had been quite a long while since we talked, and I looked him up on the internet tonight to find out that he passed just four days ago. The world won't be the same knowing Scott's not here to muse on it and find amusement in it.

I am so glad to hear Scott died with family at his side. He was such a loving person, and everyone who met him knew immediately how much he adored his family. * (It was unmissable -- Scott made sure of that.) No one could have had a prouder father. To Devorah, Aaron, Sarah and family, I hope your loving memories will sustain you in years to come.

I will miss my friend from from years ago.

Linda Blum
linda blum
July 28, 2019
Heartfelt condolences go to the family. He was immensely talented. I hope that you find comfort in the memories shared and faith.
July 28, 2019
Sincere condolences to all of Scott's family. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a terrific guy, and will be greatly missed.
Cathy Brown
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