John Scotford went home to be with the Lord after passing away Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 at his residence in Poland, Ohio.
John was born Nov. 15, 1928 in Chicago, Ill. His father and mother divorced when he was an infant and his mother took him along with his brother and sister to Omak, Wash. where his mother had secured a job as a cook in a small hospital. He was a graduate of Omak High School and Whitworth University. Upon graduation from college, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and after basic training, Officer Candidate School, and pilot training, became a F-86 Sabre Jet Fighter Pilot stationed in Korea. He flew numerous missions during his time in Korea from January through July 1953 and was honorably discharged after he finished his service training pilots at various bases in the western U.S. He loved the USA and believed deeply in the words “Duty, Honor, Country” and served just as his father did in WWI and his brother and sister did in WWII.
John took a management job with Boeing Corporation in Seattle in 1955 to begin his business career, but quickly realized that climbing the corporate ladder was not for him. A Boeing colleague told him about a job running Don Scott Field better known as The Ohio State University Airport for which he interviewed and accepted, relocating to Columbus, Ohio in 1957. While working at the university two significant events happened to John: first he met and then married Judy Busler on Dec. 5, 1959 and second he met Bob Fergus and Don Marsh who convinced him to take a job calling on Volkswagen dealers in Ohio and Kentucky. John determined after a few years that his best path for advancement in life was to become a Volkswagen dealer.
John purchased an existing Volkswagen dealership in Youngstown in April 1962 and renamed it John P. Scotford VW, Inc. starting a successful run of owning and operating numerous businesses in Youngstown, Ohio. John brought Perkins Restaurant to the area and at the peak owned 12 stores and had franchised another 32 stores. John purchased Lemke Chevrolet in 1972 and renamed it Spartan Chevrolet which he operated until he sold it in 2004. John was also a Mazda dealer from 1983 to 1990. John was a Charter Director and stockholder in 1st National Community Bank of East Liverpool, Ohio from 1987 until the bank was sold in 2015. Finally, John developed Town One Square plaza as well as other commercial properties in Poland. John was a risk taker and entrepreneur on the cutting edge of many industry trends through the years.
The Bible was the cornerstone of his life and he tried to live his life worthy of the calling that he received as a young boy. One of his favorite Bible passages was Proverbs 29:18, where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. John and his wife, Judy, led numerous Bible studies over the years and supported many Christian outreach organizations.
John was very philanthropic during his lifetime supporting the annual and capital campaigns of numerous charitable organizations in the Youngstown and beyond.
John was a member of Church of the Rock, Poland, Ohio. He was a Rotarian and a member of numerous business, civic and school groups over the years. Also, he was a Trustee at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington from 1989-2004 and was named a Torchbearer in 2015 for his overall contribution to Whitworth University.
John is survived by his two sons, John, Jr. (Laura), and Steve (Elyse); and five grandchildren, Sydney, Sam, Jim, Eddison and Hans. His beloved wife, Judy, passed away in 2013.
John’s family requests any memorial tributes take the form of contributions to the Youngstown YMCA, P.O. Box 1287, Youngstown, Ohio, 44501 designated to the John 17:21 Endowment Fund.