George Thomas Scott was born in Shirley, New Jersey on July 31, 1926 to the late Morton Scott, Sr. and late Alice B. Hall Scott-Tunstall; he was the fourth son and seventh child of nine children.
On November 19, 1939, at the age of ten, George was baptized by the late Rev. C.R. Overby at the Morning Star Baptist Church where he remained a faithful servant until his death. George also served and worked with the Pastor’s Aid Committee and the Willing Workers Ministry until his health failed. He attended Daretown Grammar School, South Woodstown Colored School (on Bailey Street), and graduated from Woodstown High School in 1945. Just prior to graduation, he was summoned to serve his country in the United States Army Air Corps. His sister, Ella, participated in the graduation in his absence and received his diploma.
On October 22, 1946, after completing nearly 18 months of service in Texas and Georgia, Private First Class George T. Scott, often referred to as “Deacon” by his Air Force buddies and personnel, received an honorable discharge at Kelly Field, Texas. He received a World War II Victory Medal, American Theatre Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Upon returning home from the service, George went to work in the Harris family household along with his mother. George served as the personal chef to Howard “Stoney” Harris and his family, as well as planned executive dinner parties while also travelling from New Jersey to Texas with the family for nearly 40 years. The Harris family was fond of George and the great-grandson, Grant, and his wife Betsy, along with Blanche and Kitty stayed in touch with him to the very end.
Known throughout South Jersey for his culinary skills, George came to life when in the kitchen. He managed and served as Head Cook at the Cowtown Steak House, located adjacent to the Cowtown Rodeo. Along with his colleague “Madge” and his younger sister, “Nookie,” he worked hard to serve an often filled to capacity restaurant. He was also employed by the Woodstown Diner, the Wagon Wheel Diner, and later retired from the Deepwater Diner where nearly every customer raved about the chef’s specials – George’s chicken pot pie or soup beans. It was only when his health began to fail in 2010 that George elected to give up his then part-time job as a janitor at the Woodstown State Police Barracks in Sharptown, New Jersey, where he worked for close to 30 years. He truly earned his rest.
George touched many lives and he always found the time to share his culinary talent. He prepared the food and/or catered weddings, birthday parties, funerals, specials events, and meals for the sick and shut in of the Church. He may not have had the largest home, but he managed to feed many on any given Sunday and on most holidays -- with food to spare. Family and/or friends knew they could always find a welcoming smile and a seat at George Scott’s table.
In addition to listening to his jazz and gospel music collection (playing on his vintage stereo), George loved to watch television and play cards, especially, pinochle, with his sisters and brothers, oldest nieces Jeannette (Punchie) Minter and Veronica Bentley, nephew, Vincent Bentley, and other nieces and nephews who wanted a challenge. He looked forward to sharing long conversations with his cousins Irene Hall from Virginia and John Hall from Nevada.
A life-long bachelor, George never married; he was, however, a mentor and coach to his many, many nieces and nephews (150 in total). He taught them how to press a mean crease, bake and serve up a full home-cooked meal “from scratch.” He took pride in serving up his pan popped “popcorn” once a year. To all of them, their “Uncle George” was a tough act to follow; his hot, buttered homemade rolls remain unmatched as well as his homemade pound cake.
On Sunday evening, January 29, 2012 at 8:55 p.m., George T. Scott, a good man, obtained his final ticket and entered peacefully into eternal rest at the Southgate Nursing Home located in Carneys Point, New Jersey. He was predeceased by his parents, Morton F. Scott, Sr. and Alice B. Hall Scott-Tunstall, three brothers, Joseph, William, and Morton, Jr., three sisters, Marion, Elizabeth (Braxton), Kathryn (Corbin-Young), Godson and nephew, Thomas R. Corbin, Sr., and nieces, Delores Scott and Deborah Skinner.
The Scotts were one of the first African-American families to purchase a home on Liberty Avenue in Woodstown; George was the “last of the original Mohicans” standing guard over the block.
He leaves to cherish his memory, two sisters, Alice “Chubby” Crews of Trenton, New Jersey, Ella “Reedie” Corbin and one brother-in-law, Everett Corbin, Sr., of Lindenwold, New Jersey, Godson and nephew, Thomas “Tom-Tom” Corbin, Jr., of Woodstown, New Jersey, Goddaughter and niece, Kathryn “Lisa” Bentley-Martin, of Richmond, Virginia, two special nieces, Jeannette Minter (who was raised like a sister) and Veronica “Annie” Bentley, a special nephew, Reginald Scott, Sr., 34 nieces and nephews, 61 great nieces and nephews, 51 great-great nieces and nephews, three great-great-great nieces, a faithful cousin, Arlene “Mingo” Kaufman, of Woodstown, New Jersey, special friends, James and Marsha Jones of Woodstown, New Jersey, Naomi Tunstall of Trenton, New Jersey, a host of cousins, other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 10am at Morning Star Baptist Church Eldrige Hill Rd. Woodstown, with Pastor Benjamin Mike, eulogist. Interment will be in the Salem County Veterans Cemetery Pilesgrove. Family and friends may attend a viewing at the church Friday evening from 6pm-8pm and 2 hours prio to services Saturday.