Scott Baker Douglas
March 11, 1973 - March 2, 2021
Scott Baker Douglas was born on March 11, 1973, in Pumpkin Center, near Bakersfield, to Donna Kay Douglas, a single mom who wanted it that way. A Down's Syndrome child, the doctor said, "Don't waste your motherly love on him," and Donna nearly decked him. The doctor said Scotty probably would not survive to be five years old. Instead, Scotty grew up on Edwin Drive in Oildale, a safe neighborhood where he could ride his bike s-l-o-w-l-y, and sit on the corner waving newspapers and watching traffic. With Grandma & Grandpa Douglas across the street, he was always surrounded by protective eyes and hearts.
He attended local schools, proudly graduating from Blair Learning Center in 1991. He was a member of the Kern County Special Olympics track team for many years, medaling at several State Games. He loved running, jumping and throwing, but mostly he loved the people who gathered to love and support the athletes. They were his extended family. At family gatherings, he was thrilled to throw a ball around with Uncle Dave, or help blow out the candles on whoever's cake, and he got as much enjoyment out of others opening their gifts as he did opening his own. Scotty especially looked forward to the dances held a couple times a year for developmentally disabled folks. The girls thought he was "a fox," and he'd do the only dance he knew, rocking back and forth, all night long with the ladies.
He was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Harvest, and became the official greeter at every event. Sitting outside the door so he could watch traffic, no one entered without a smile from Scotty. Likewise, no one could maintain a foul mood when Scotty was around, and he spread joy wherever he went. He never had a cross word to say, (except once when Sylvia made mushy spaghetti, and that was easily forgiven.) Bunco night was a pleasure, for though he could not count, Scotty always brought his good humor to the tables as he played. After a particularly good round, he'd rub the sides of his shaved head and laugh like he'd won the lottery. As many other MCC kids grew up and moved away, Scotty was always there, a kid who loved to be thrown from person to person in the pool, and to watch fireworks into a long summer evening.
Little by little, Donna's little boy was becoming a man, albeit one who still required a great deal of care. She and her wife set about building a happy home for Scotty, with music and laughter, and three dogs. He worked at BARC, enjoyed WWF, the Dodgers, Lakers & Niners, waved papers and watched traffic, and Donna loved him fiercely, every day, with the fervor of a mama lion.
Her passing in 2014 brought Scotty into the sole care of Dennis & Lillian, who welcomed Scotty as one of their own. They helped him get his Diabetes under control, and managed his dialysis schedule, all the while continuing the family celebrations that he so loved. Our hearts remain with Dennis & Lillian and the whole family, who experienced losing Scotty as their own child.
The child who probably would not live to be five died of COVID just a few days shy of his 48th birthday, having lived an extraordinary life. He did not have the kind of accomplishments that hang on walls or bring in massive paychecks, but he made the world a softer and brighter place for his having lived. That we thought we could teach him anything was our first mistake; it was we who learned what it truly means to be loving.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Earl & Gayle Douglas, his mother Donna, his uncle Jimmy, and his Big Mama Doris Weddell. He is survived by his uncle Bob, and cousins Brett, Kristi, Heather and Kerri & their families, Dennis & his family, and Whitney & the Weddell clan. His memory will always be cherished by many more people, from MCC and the local LGBTQIA+ communities, Blair Learning Center, Special Olympics, and BARC. In his memory, he would want people to have a cool drink, sit in the shade and just watch the cars go by; or throw a football around; or swim; or dance, just rocking back and forth.
Scott and Donna will now rest together forever in the National Cemetery on Bear Mountain Blvd. A gathering will be planned for a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Special Olympics Kern County, PO Box 2544 Bakersfield, CA 93303.