Laurie Anne Scott, age 71, passed away suddenly Sunday, June 11, at her home in Helena valley.
Laurie was born February 19, 1952, to Robert Paul and Annie Laurie (Smith) McQueen, in Grosse Pointe Farms, in the Detroit area. She was the youngest of three and immediately became the apple of her dad’s eye.
Laurie was part of the first class to graduate from Finney High School in Detroit, after which she continued the family tradition of serving in the military. Her service in the United States Air Force began in 1970. After basic training she worked as a dental specialist at Travis Air Force Base, treating service members returning from Vietnam, until being honorably discharged in 1974.
During her time at Travis AFB, she joined the sport skydiving club and became a proficient skydiver. It was in this club she met the love of her life, Terry Scott, and they married on her birthday in 1972, spending the next 51 years together.
After her discharge from the Air Force, she worked in the naval shipyard at Mare Island in Vallejo, California, painting submarines until the couple moved to Helena after Terry’s discharge from the U.S. Navy Submarine Service in 1975.
Laurie used the G.I. Bill to pursue a career in commercial aviation. A skydiving injury derailed those aspirations and she made the pivot to nursing, attending Carroll College until her graduation in 1983. She was an accomplished pilot, flying as the chief pilot for her and Terry’s company, Sky Unlimited, hauling skydivers and towing gliders to altitude. They operated the company until 1981, when a hailstorm totaled the company plane.
In November 1978, Laurie and Terry adopted a baby boy, who they named Brandon Wade Scott. Brandon lived a very short life, succumbing to liver disease in 1980. In 1981, while attending nursing school at Carroll College, Laurie gave birth to a son, Jason McQueen Scott. Laurie was very supportive of Jason’s many hobbies and misadventures, from helping with Cub Scouts to serving on the Board of Directors for Helena Babe Ruth Baseball.
During nursing school, she interned at the Veterans Administration in Detroit and Helena, and went on to a career of over 30 years at the VA. She was a hard worker, once winning Employee of the Year, and was willing to deal with any challenges she faced.
In retirement, Laurie and Terry ran a successful Labrador Retriever breeding and training business. She absolutely loved her two grandkids, Andersen and Simone, visiting them regularly in Washington. Between family, boarding dogs and raising puppies, Laurie’s days were full until the end.
She was preceded in death by her son Brandon, her parents, Robert and Annie Laurie and her two brothers, Michael and Robert.
She is survived by her husband, Terry, her son, Jason (Melanie) and grandkids Ande and Simone; her brothers-in-law Paul (MaryAnn), David (Rita), Michael (Diane), Bruce (Lorrie); and longtime close friends, Kathy and Mike Doughty.
A color guard presentation will take place in Laurie’s honor on Friday, June 16, 1:00 pm at Montana State Veterans Cemetery, 3550 Heroes Road, Helena West Side, MT 59636. A reception will follow at her home in the valley, at 3630 Harmony Road, Helena, MT 59602. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence for the family or share a memory of Laurie.