Don A. Scott, who grew up washing cars and sweeping floors at his father’s Whitehouse auto dealership, which he later owned and continued selling vehicles for more than a decade in retirement, died Saturday at Hospice of Northwest Ohio on South Detroit Avenue. He was 71.
He had nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, which led to lung problems, his wife, Kay Scott, said.
As long as his health allowed, Mr. Scott of Whitehouse sold cars at what has become Yark Chevrolet.
“He loved the business, and he loved the people,” his wife said. “He had a dedicated group of customers who kept coming back to him. He felt like he wanted to continue that relationship with people.”
DJ Yark, general manager of the Yark Automotive Group, recalled Mr. Scott helping new sales staff learn about the vehicles — and introducing them to the community.
“He had cars in his blood. He loved General Motors and loved Corvettes,” Mr. Yark said. “The guy had a giant heart, and the community was something that was very important to him.”
In 2017, Mr. Scott went to Nevada and the official high performance driving school for Corvette owners.
“He said, ‘I have completed my bucket list,’” his wife said. “I enjoyed seeing Don get off that track with a smile on his face and a light heart.”
He was born Feb. 15, 1947, to Vera and Donald F. Scott. His father was a salesman for Lehman Motor Sales on Main Street in Whitehouse and, in the mid-1950s, bought the dealership.
“When he was little, he’d help wash cars, help sweep the floor,” his wife said.
He was a 1965 graduate of Anthony Wayne High School and enlisted in the Navy. He served from 1966-70 stateside, repairing radar and electronics.
Afterward, he sold cars full time at his father’s Chevrolet and Pontiac dealership before he was promoted to general manager. The business in the early 1970s tripled in size and moved to State Rt. 64 and Finzel Road. He’d worked at the dealership with his older brother, Ronald, who opened his own business — a heavy-duty truck repair and towing in Toledo.
In 1986, Mr. Scott bought the dealership from his father, who still came in almost daily to drink coffee and chat with workers and customers.
“Donnie wanted the dealership. His desire was to have the dealership grow,” his wife said. “He had the most beautiful smile and blue eyes that put you at ease. Everything had to be right for the customer.”
He also served on the advertising advisory board for local GM dealers. He was a member of the former Exchange Club for Whitehouse and Waterville.
Mr. Scott liked to golf, and for about 16 winters he and his wife stayed at their place on the 17th green at Mission Hills Country Club near Palm Springs, Calif.
His son, Tyson Scott, died July 18, 2000.
Surviving are his wife, the former Catherine “Kay” Ball, whom he married June 11, 1982; son, Wesley Scott; sister, Debra Megyesi; four grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Hope United Methodist Church, Whitehouse, where he was a member. Arrangements are by Peinert-Dunn Funeral Home, Whitehouse.
The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio; the comfort dog ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, where he formerly was a member, or LCC Canine Comfort Dog Ministry through Lutheran Charities in Northbrook, Ill.
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