John Murray Scott
John Murray Scott was born in Wingham on March 7, 1942 to Walter and Alice Scott, a younger brother for Alan. They resided on Lot 36 Conc. 7 East Wawanosh. He attended SS#13 East Wawanosh school, which was situated on the front corner of their farm. Murray attended Wingham District High School, played football for the Mustangs and excelled in 4-H work.
Free time was spent working with his dad or roaming the fields and bush. After high school, Murray worked full time on the farm and became a beef calf club leader, which he continued for over 20 years. He also sang in the Knox United Church choir, and at times served in the capacity of steward and elder.
In October, 1963, Murray married Wilma Dale, and they lived across from his home farm. That fall they purchased the farm adjoining Walter’s and began renovating the abandoned home. It would be 11 years before they moved to their farm, where they lived for 38 years. During that time they farmed beef cows and calves, fattening cattle and sheep and growing cash crops.
Murray did custom combining and swathing and was very handy at repairing machinery. For a number of years Murray and Wilma were part of Scottslea Farms Ltd., a company formed with Murray’s cousins, Ian, Ralph, and Lorne Scott. The company had a cow/calf and fattening operation. In 2008, they retired from the company and the land was rented for hay and crops.
In 2005, they began a wetland demonstration project in conjunction with Maitland Valley Conservation Authority and many other partners to showcase methods of removing nitrates and silt from runoff before it entered the stream. Excess water was stored on the farm while preserving the best workable acres. Stream rehabilitation, windbreaks and reforestation were part of the plan. Murray built a people mover to tour interested visitors.
The final phase of the project was a small nut orchard planted in fall of 2016. In 2013, Murray and Wilma were presented with the “Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence” for the project.
The 50-acre woodlot at the back of the farm was Murray's preferred location to work, or meditate and observe nature, making mental note of special trees and measuring their growth. Those 50 acres were quite possibly the most productive acres on the farm. It was Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified in 2011. In 2011, Murray and Wilma moved across the road to the 21-acre property that originally came in the farm purchase. They added to the log cabin and “Peace & Quiet” became their home until the fall of 2016 when they moved to their new home in Seaforth and sold “Peace & Quiet”.
Murray served as an East Wawanosh Township Councillor for six years and as Deputy-Reeve of North Huron for 10 years, retiring in 2010. He had in the past been a director of Howick Mutual Insurance. While living at “Peace & Quiet”, Murray returned to the farm (now owned by daughter Melanie Pletch) most days to work in the shop, to repair, to “tinker” and to invent. Until the last two years, he was able to enjoy working on the wetland project and other tractor work around the farm.
Touring the bush in the “gator” was his favourite way of spending an afternoon. He always retained a keen interest in municipal affairs, and accounts of council meetings were a first read in the local paper.
Murray’s last visit to the farm, wetland project and “Peace & Quiet” took place on a sunny spring day, just one week before his death on April 25th, 2017 in Seaforth Hospital.
Murray is survived by three children, Meribeth (Tim) Vlemmix, Seaforth, Melanie Pletch (Marvin Cook), Belgrave and Jeff (Rebecca Gain), Burlington, his grandchildren Scott, Meagan, Ben, Amelia, Blake, Isabella and Sidney and his wife of 53 years, Wilma. Murray is also survived by his brother Alan and his wife Margaret of Stratford. He was predeceased by his parents, and son-in-law David Pletch.
A celebration of life service was conducted from the McBurney Funeral Home on Friday, April 28. Rev. Brian Hymers officiated with remarks by Mr. John Gaunt. Pallbearers were Scott Pletch, Ben Pletch, Kevin Scott, Bill Glousher, Archie MacGowan and Joe Sanders. Flower bearers were Meagan Pletch and Amelia Pletch. Interment took place in Brandon Cemetery, Belgrave.
Online condolences may be left at www.mcburneyfuneralhome.com