September 28, 1934—February 9, 2019
On February 9, 2019, Donna Faye Scott, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 84.
Donna was born on September 28, 1934, in Filer, Idaho, to Floyd and Ruth Faye (Hunt) Stiles. She graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1952 and married the love of her life, Jack Dean Scott, on November 2 of that year. Losing her mother at age 7 and her father at age 15 had a profound impact on Donna’s life, and the courtship that began with Jack at age 16 would bolster her independent, resilient spirit with the strength and support to go on to an abundantly blessed life. Most of her grandchildren were proud to stand arm in arm with their Grandma and declare themselves taller by age 10 or 11, but Donna had more spirit per square inch than anyone we’ve ever known.
She had the heart of a patriot. After getting involved by joining Idaho Republican Women, Donna ran for the Idaho State Legislature and won in 1982, where she served two terms. She had the great pleasure of meeting President Ronald Reagan after he appointed her to be Idaho’s Commissioner for the Presidential Commission of Scholars. Later she entered a contest seeking the best centennial song for Twin Falls, and won with her song Just Add Water. Through many impassioned dinner table conversations and various volunteer opportunities, she continued to be an opinionated and engaged citizen her entire life. Donna’s inspiring example is best summed up in her own words: “Be bold. Stand up for what’s right. Be a troublemaker. Speak out and tell the truth.”
She had the hands of a homemaker. “Dirt is a healing thing,” Donna would say as she tended to the roses inherited by her mother-in-law and painstakingly transplanted to their new home built overlooking Thousand Springs. Wild Rose Ranch was a treasured destination of the family for many years, and there Jack and Donna returned to their families’ homesteading roots with chickens, cows, a schnauzer or two, and John Deere Gators for cruising around the property to tend things. From tough times feeding a family of eight to later hosting Christmas gatherings for forty plus, Donna knew how to feed a crowd good, wholesome food. She passed her bread making and canning skills on to the next two generations, many of whom continue to teach these lost arts to the next generation. Also an accomplished seamstress, Donna’s quilts for great grandchildren have been a treasured tradition. They were “useful, sensible blankies, for dragging through the sandbox,” she would say.
Her soul was for the Lord, and she loved being part of her church community at Grace Baptist Church. Donna had a particular kinship with the youth, whom she would invite out to Wild Rose Ranch for a hike and chili feed. The “wee ones” enjoyed her famous flop-eared bunny sugar cookies after church every Easter. She often said, “My prayer for my children is to know the peace and joy that comes from Jesus in your heart.”
She had a sharp mind, ever seeking to learn and to teach. Donna constantly wrote—journaling in notebooks, jotting and sketching on the backs of envelopes, sending handmade cards to family and friends—she wrote little thoughts and big ideas. She loved to speak and debate, getting her start in the Toastmistress Club and later becoming a tour speaker for the U.S. Bicentennial of the Constitution and hosting the Party Line talk radio show. She wrote two books: Tribute to the Past, Legacy for the Future in 1990 and Gifts of Heritage: Pioneer Portraits in 2004.
Her legs were made for moving. From winters spent teaching grandkids to ski to summers spent with her hiking buddies, she was always drawn “by the magnet of the mountain, ever pulling on my soul” as she described it. Lake Alice was one of her very favorite hikes and Donna once summited Mount Borah, Idaho’s tallest peak. After her second bout with cancer, her family rallied with Donna to hike Lake Alice in honor of her granddaughter Brenna. Her indomitable spirit pushed her to complete that hike, and to beat back non-Hodgkins Lymphoma four times.
With her whole being she was a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her husband Jack had a 66-year love story that produced six children, 21 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren. They stood together through wars and economic collapses, built a business and raised a family together, and supported each other as they grew and changed and tried new things. They truly embodied “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”
Donna was preceded in death by her mother and father; brothers Herb and Harold Stiles and Delbert Stiles (who died in infancy); sister Dorothy Kimball; son Kelly Scott; granddaughter Brenna Scott; and great granddaughter Regan Scott. She is survived by her husband Jack, their children Doug (Cindy) Scott of Atascadero, CA; Greg (Karla) Scott of Idaho Falls, ID; Kathy (Jon) Thomsen of Buhl, ID; Diane (Carl) Legg of Twin Falls, ID; Kristy (Dave) Knecht of Sandy, UT; sister Maxine Mogensen of Boise, ID; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, February 16, at 12 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church located at 798 Eastland Drive N in Twin Falls. A viewing will be held on Friday, February 15, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at White Mortuary located at 136 4th Avenue East in Twin Falls.
Family suggests memorials be made to Twin Falls Christian Academy at 798 Eastland Drive N in Twin Falls.