Terry Lou Scott

Obituary - Terry Lou Scott

1940 - 2018

Terry Lou Scott, a retired educator, passed away on Dec. 21, 2018. She was born in Cody, Wyoming on Dec. 11, 1940, the first of seven siblings, to John and Eulah Ratliff. She was the granddaughter of James E. Ratliff (Jim; 1894-1960) and Mildred McEachron (Mid; 1896-1962) who married and lived in Cody early after 1913. Their two sons, James (Jimmy) Ratliff (1916-1959) and John Ratliff (1918-1999) were raised in Cody and graduated from high school there. Jimmy married Hilda Knight (1915-2006). They owned and operated the Bronze Boot Supper Club in Cody for many years. John Ratliff left Cody as a young man and married Eulah Shook (1920-1991) in Wichita, Kansas, returning to Cody to start their family. John and Eulah later settled permanently in Cheyenne, Wyoming to raise the rest of their family.

Terry Lou (Ratliff) Scott, born in Cody, but later raised in Cheyenne, graduated from Cheyenne High School and attended the University of Wyoming. She graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor’s Degree in education, and she did her student teaching in Cody under the tutelage of English teacher Evelyn Shawver. During that time she lived with her Aunt Hilda Ratliff and worked evenings and weekends at the Bronze Boot. Upon her graduation from UW, she first taught in Hanna, then Casper, and again in Cody before returning to Cheyenne to teach English at Cheyenne Junior High School. During her years in Cheyenne, she started working on a Master’s Degree in literature at UW College of Arts and Sciences. 

Through a mutual friend, Colonel Francis Fardy who was the Hospital Commander at F.E. Warren Air Base, Cheyenne, she met then Colonel Robert R. (Bob) Scott who was the Commander of the 90th Missile Wing and the Senior Commander of F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Their relationship grew and they were married in August 1969 in the Base Chapel making Terry the First Lady of Warren Air Force Base. They were soon transferred to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, where Bob became the Commander, 17th Air Division and was promoted to Brigadier General (and Terry again to First Lady). In 1971, they were transferred back to F.E. Warren in Cheyenne where Bob activated the 4th Strategic Missile Division as the Headquarters for all six Minuteman ICBM Missile Wings and bases and 1000 Minuteman Missiles. They were later transferred to Strategic Air Command (SAC) Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska where Bob retired from the Air Force in October 1973.

They returned to Cheyenne to establish a new home and civilian life style. Terry resumed her teaching career at Laramie County Community College in the Humanities Department, teaching English, grammar, composition, writing, poetry and literature. She thoroughly enjoyed teaching and helping people improve their lives through better skills in many personal endeavors. She particularly enjoyed working with the older students that returned to college after years of work or marriage and realized they needed education to improve their life style. During those years, she was twice selected as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the College. Realizing she had not completed her Master’s Degree program, she took a year off and returned to UW, after a ten year break, to be reinstated and completed her Master’s Degree in literature, graduating in 1979.

Terry developed a great love of books and their authors through reading many to select the few that she assigned her students to read, analyze, and report on in classes, both for literature and poetry. This started her collection and personal library that has grown to many hundreds. She preferred the hard-bound covers, saying she just “loved the feel of a good book”. With the slightest provocation she would quote verses from the great classics, books, or poetry. 

Terry also became an excellent cook. She would read a cookbook like a novel, digesting the contents and retaining the details for immediate recall and use. She prepared the simple or gourmet meals with beautiful presentation and flare. Terry was involved in community support organizations. She joined P.E.O. Chapter “C”, which was also her Mother’s chapter, and was a member of the Military Wives Club.

Meanwhile, Bob had become a banker as Senior Vice President at American National Bank and deeply involved in many volunteer activities in the community. He retired again in 1988. Terry continued until 1992 when she retired from Laramie County Community College after 18 years. They enjoyed retirement in Cheyenne until 2005 when they moved to Cody (Cheyenne getting too big and crowded).

Terry transferred her P.E.O. membership from Chapter “C” in Cheyenne to Chapter “AO” in Cody. They joined Christ Episcopal Church and both were confirmed in 2006. Terry had been christened and baptized when an infant in 1941 in the little “Poker” Christ Episcopal Church. Through both church and PEO, Terry had become an ardent bridge player and participated in the annual round robin tournament with her partner, Shirley Wilkerson, being quite successful. In 2000, they had purchased a second home in Big Sky, Montana which they used very frequently. This gave winters full of skiing, which had been their primary dating activity prior to their marriage, and summers full of fishing, golf, and outdoor activities. Terry also had a weekly bridge group and supper club in Big Sky.

In 2000 a routine physical exam x-ray revealed a sacrum chordoma tumor on Terry’s spine. This began her long and difficult battle. Chordomas do not respond to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Terry continued her battle through eight major surgeries over eighteen years. She peacefully passed in Bob’s arms. She will be missed and remembered by many: family, friends, and those whose lives she touched.

Terry Lou Scott is survived by her husband Bob; her stepson Randy Scott and his wife Carol, and their children: Mike, Taylor, and Reed, and great grandchildren, Tom, Chris, and Allison; her sister Nancy (Ed) Webster of Cody; her sister Meliss (Jon) Czarnecki of Hayesville, North Carolina; her brother Ed (Sherry) Ratliff of Gillette, Wyoming; her brother Richard (Cindy) Ratliff of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Eulah Ratliff, and her brother John Ratliff, Jr.

Cremation has taken place. No services are planned at this time. Family graveside service will be held later this year with burial at Riverside Cemetery in Cody. Memorials may be made to Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody or charities of choice.

Condolences to Bob and the family can be sent on Terry’s online guestbook at www.BallardFH.com

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