Nina finally gets to go home: Island News columnist pens her own farewell before losing battle to cancer

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EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday, Oct. 23, The Island News columnist Lee Scott died peacefully in her sleep at home after a long battle with cancer. The Island News family wishes to express its condolences to Scott’s friends and family. Before her death, Scott penned her own obituary. At the request of Scott and her family, it will be her final submission to The Island News. – Mike McCombs

 

Leslie Anne Saunders Smith Scott (Lee) left this earth on the morning of Friday, Oct. 23 to return home to her Maker. It was her dying wish that she should take her last breath in the house that she loved, along with her husband, James, by her side.

Lee was born on Nov. 14, 1953, a date etched in the memory of all her family and friends. She was the fourth child of David and Claire Kelly Smith, their third daughter. She always said she was the baby of four and the oldest of five, as four more siblings were born after her. Her maternal grandmother, Mary Bergin Kelly, called Lee her Miss Sunshine because of her sweet smile and sparkling eyes.

Lee was born at the Lying-In Hospital in Providence, R.I., and moved to Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Florida, back to Maryland, back to Florida, back to Maryland again, Virginia, Maryland yet again, and finally to South Carolina. In her lifetime, Lee lived in 30 homes.

Lee was an adventuresome soul. At 15, she went up in a stunt plane with a professional stunt pilot.

At 30, she received her SCUBA certification after snorkeling in Hawaii and enjoying the underwater world.

She then learned to race sailboats before she turned 40. She owned two sailboats and won numerous racing trophies.

She owned her own gun and would go out to the shooting range to practice. Lee was a member of the Annapolis Toastmasters and won several speaking awards.

Lee was blessed with two children by her high school sweetheart and loved raising a boy and a girl. At 21, she completed her lifeguard training but decided it was not a profession to pursue. By the time her son was 11, Lee had managed to complete her associate’s degree. Seven years later she completed her bachelor’s degree at Hood College, and then seven years later she completed her MBA at Hood College.

She worked several part-time jobs while pursuing her degrees and was proud to say she graduated with no school debt and no assistance from anyone, except for the encouragement from her children.

Lee enjoyed a long banking career, where she also continued her community involvement. She served on the board of the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, the Anne Arundel and Annapolis Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Anne Arundel and was a member of the Annapolis Rotary Club. Throughout her adulthood, Lee was active in numerous organizations too long to mention here.

After 32 years in banking, Lee and her husband sailed out of Annapolis and landed on Dataw Island in South Carolina. It is there she began her freelance writing for The Island News.

Her husband called her the “Jerry Seinfeld of the Baby Boomer generation.”

In 2018, Lee was awarded first place in the Weekly Humor Column Writing category by the South Carolina Press Association.

During her life, Lee traveled all over the world. She visited many islands in the Caribbean, went to Mexico, did several trans-Atlantic trips and drove all over England, France, and Italy. She flew to Tokyo to meet her first grandchild and then rode a camel in Tunisia.

She toured Europe during a cruise and visited all of the places she had seen in pictures – the Eiffel Tower, the London Bridge, the Vatican, the Coliseum, the French Alps and the Louvre, to name a few. She and Jim went cross-country in their RV to see the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert and numerous other places.

It was her dream to go up in a hot air balloon in New Mexico, but due to a surgery, she was not eligible.

Besides her writing, Lee also traced her ancestry and was able to meet numerous third, fourth, and fifth cousins. Her older sister, Jacki, shared in her passion as they traipsed over graveyards in New England.

Lee had a strong belief in God and was not afraid of death. That belief sustained her throughout her life.

She is survived by her husband, James Scott, two children – Brian John Colaluca (Pamela) and Faith Elizabeth Smith Hubbard (Matthew McOsker) – and four grandchildren – Sloan Claire Kelly Hubbard, Finnegan Reese Hubbard, Marin Wilson Colaluca, and Virginia Anne Colaluca – her heart, her star, her angel, and her sunshine.

She also left behind three stepchildren, eight step-grandchildren, several siblings, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She will be interred at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in Cumberland, R.I., near her Nana and Grandpa Kelly.

She requested that three songs play at her service.

“Ashokan Farewell.” “On the Nature of Daylight” by Max Richter.

Also, “We’ll Meet Again.”

Lee Scott, award-winning humor writer, took her “Walter Mitty” like persona and spun tales around everyday life. She enjoyed boating, reading, and meeting people. Scott lived in Beaufort with her husband, JD, along with their dog Brandy.