Paul Freedman Scott was born July 22, 1916, in Washington, D.C., to the Rev. James Scott and Corlena “Momma Lena.” He died April 17 at age 94.
As a child, Paul grew up within a large extended family and learning community in Sandy Spring, Md. Paul came of age during the Great Depression and attended Rockville Colored High School where he played baseball. He barnstormed around central Maryland with Negro Leaguer greats and future hall-of-famers, and also caddied for golfers at country clubs.
After being offered a Quaker Scholarship to Bowie Normal School from 1934-1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, he became the first in his family to graduate from college, earning an advanced teaching certificate. He played football “both ways” as safety and a starting quarterback–where he often humorously recounted being knocked unconscious during a game with his roommate and team manager Elias Wilson (Reginald F. Lewis’ uncle). He also boxed; played baseball and basketball, and ran at the Penn Relays in the same heat as Olympic Gold medal winner Jesse Owens.
After school, and before returning to Bowie State to earn his bachelor’s in education in 1950, Paul worked at Western Electric and at several hotels and country clubs. That same year he was hired by the Baltimore County School System as a fifth-grade teacher at Fleming Elementary School in the Turner’s Station community of Southeast Baltimore County, where he ran a relatively well-resourced program, that was, essentially, a pilot of the first Head Start program in the nation.
Paul, along with his wife, Effie Liggans, a 1938 graduate of Bowie Normal School, traveled to New York on the weekends and during the summer to graduate school and earned a master’s of arts in supervision and administrations from New York University in 1957. This sacred union ended in tragedy, as Effie passed away at a young age in 1964. But, the couple first was blessed with a daughter, Sandra (Sandy), and a son, Paul F. Scott Jr. (Speedy).
In December 1966 he married the former Roberta Pemberton Woodlon, of Cherry Hill, a 1957 graduate of the Coppin State Teacher College. From that sacred union he was blessed with Michael Pemberton and Jonathan James.
In 1968, Paul was promoted to principal of the Timber Grove Elementary School in Owings Mills, and he, along with lifelong friend Helen Whitaker, were the first to integrate Baltimore County Schools as administrators.
He retired in 1980 from this first career after serving on a number of statewide boards for educators, including as president of the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals. After an exceptional career as an educator, he taught Sunday School during the K-12 years of his children’s lives (more than 25 years), and as lay leader chaired the board of stewards (chairman emeritus) at the Douglas Memorial Community Church for 37 years.
He served as president of the International Council of Community Churches for multiple terms, was a representative at the World Council of Churches in Australia and was a board member of the National Council of Churches in Christ. Paul served as president of the Bowie State Alumni Association and received honorary life membership in the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Association of Elementary School Administrators of Baltimore County.
His immediate family includes wife, Roberta “Bobbie;” daughter, Sandra Scott Days (John); and sons, Dr. Paul F. Jr. “Speedy” (Anne Randall), Michael P.(Lina Maressa) and Jonathan J.; nine grandchildren, Michael Alexander Caceres Scott “MACS,” John Wesley Days, Paul F. “Scotty” Scott III, Garland Days (Anne Tiger Days), Peter Scott, Patrick Scott (Beverly Brooks Scott), Patrice Scott Williams(Rick Williams), Portia Scott, and Loren Days; seven great-grandchildren, Mackenzie and Elijah, Mateus, Miles, and Anada, DandaLuna, and Rafael; a brother-in law Michael Woodlon (Phyllis Jones) and many beloved first and second cousins, nephews, nieces, and great-nephews and great- nieces.
April 24, 3-5 p.m., viewing at March Funeral Home, 4300 Wabash Ave., Baltimore, M.D., 21215; 410-542-2400
April 25, 10 a.m. (family hour), 11 a.m. service, funeral at Douglas Memorial Church, 1325 Madison Ave., Baltimore, M.D., 21217.
April 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (family hour,) at Sharp Street United Methodist Church 1310 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Sandy Spring, M.D. 20860; 301-774-7047. Internment follows at Mutual Memorial Cemetery, 18291 Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, Md.