Gladys “Honey” May Scott
Gladys “Honey” May Morrill was born on March 16, 1925 in a tarpaper shack on the Kabekona River in Benedict, MN. She swore she remembered the howl of the train from the hour she was born. 96 years later, she passed away in her sleep at her family’s home across the lake on Kabekona Bay, a half mile from where she grew up and spent much of her life, listening to the loons and one last summer storm.
Honey grew up with three beloved brothers and one sister: Irving, Bill, Lorna, and Dana, whose childhood escapades around the countryside served up nearly a century of storytelling fodder. They were pupils at the Benedict School House, which, along with a household that valued magazine and newspaper subscriptions, instilled a curiosity for learning that propelled the precocious, scrappy bunch through life. She graduated high school in Laporte and eagerly joined the Women’s Auxiliary Corps the day she was eligible. As a WAC, Honey was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, where she was in charge of discharging service men and women when they returned from war. It was there she met her husband Paul on a train. He winked at her and asked her to lunch. Before long they were getting married, both in uniform.
The pair faced some difficult times including the death of an infant son, Robert, and Paul’s near-death polio diagnosis in 1948 after returning to Honey’s hometown to raise their four children. In 1970 they opened a small country grocery store and gas station called Scott’s Stop and Shop, which is the current Fort Benedict.
Back in Benedict, Honey resumed the friendships of her childhood. She was a member of the Benedict Ladies Aid since the 1950s and an avid letter writer keeping up with friends and relatives across the country for decades. Honey was a gifted artist and crafter, especially with quilts and textiles, though her grandchildren will remember her for making beautiful paper dolls. While it became too difficult to do sewing projects in her later years, she still enjoyed reading books of all genres through her final days with a special penchant for historical nonfiction and Russian literature. She also loved antiques, genealogy research, and spending time in nature. She was famously stubborn, independent minded, and lived on her own until just a few days before passing on.
Honey followed politics closely until her final days and cared deeply about human rights and American democracy. The last five years under the former administration caused her a lot of stress daily. She wanted a world that gives opportunity to all.
Honey Scott will be very dearly missed by those who loved her and her riveting stories about growing up in the Northwoods will be retold by the next generations.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Harvey Paul Scott, their sons Steven and Robert, and her four siblings, all of whom lived to be octogenarians or beyond.
Honey is survived by her daughters, Susan (Lindy) Larsen, Sarah (Paul) Tarutis, and son Gym (Kathy) Scott, and nine grandchildren: Scott (Janelle) Traverse, Sasha (Bob) Moss, Deanna (Brendan) Larsen-Quinn, Adrienne (Paul) Larsen, Marguerite (Anthony) Tarutis, Abigail (Patrick) Tarutis, and Anastasia, Gabrielle, and Sarah Scott, along with seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Honey’s lifelong love of reading, the family asks that memorials be sent to the Bemidji Public Library or that mourners take someone they love to lunch at Raphael’s Bakery, both places she frequented in her final decades. Internment will be at the Lakeport Cemetery later this summer.