Longtime Butler County public servant dies of heart attack

Monday, December 8, 2008

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — An elected official who had dedicated more than 30 years of her life to serving Butler County died Saturday of a heart attack.

Circuit Court Clerk Betty Scott, 63, is remembered by friends and colleagues for her good nature and commitment to service.

"Betty has been a dedicated and loyal public servant for 31 years," said Presiding Circuit Judge Mark Richardson, who had worked closely with Scott since 1980. "I considered her not only a professional colleague but a personal friend. ¿ She epitomized everything that is good about public servants. She was hard working, dedicated and fair and friendly to everyone she came in contact with."

She will be sorely missed, Richardson said.

"Betty was one of the most professional people I have worked with," Judge John Bloodworth said. "She was always a pleasure. She had a wonderful disposition and was a good friend."

She was a true public servant that people could trust, he continued.

"(Betty) was just a delight to work with," said Butler County Coroner Larry Cotrell. "She ran a great department. She approached her (position) with efficiency and a lot of thoroughness. She was very highly regarded."

Scott was first elected to circuit court clerk in 2004. She was re-elected to the position in 2006, winning 69 percent of the vote.

The governor will appoint a replacement to Scott's office, said County Clerk Tonyi Deffendall. Officials do not know when this will take place.

Before serving as circuit court clerk, Scott worked in the clerk's office for 27 years.

"She'll be badly missed," said Presiding Commissioner Ed Strenfel. "She's been here a lot of years. It's a shock."

In honor of her contributions, the Butler County Courthouse will close at noon tomorrow and reopen Wednesday.

Scott was a dedicated Altrusan and active member of Rombauer General Baptist Church, said fellow Altrusa member and Poplar Bluff Mayor Pro Tem Betty Absheer. Scott became a member of Altrusa in 2003 and was serving her first year on the service club's board as recording secretary.

"The Altrusa motto is patriotism, efficiency and service and she definitely exemplified all of that motto," said Absheer. "She was a delight to be around, very family oriented and a very loyal friend."

Friend and in-law Bertie Gleason saw these qualities when Gleason lost her daughter and later her husband.

"She supported us then," Gleason said. "She was my best friend and one very special person."

A visitation will be held for Scott from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday at Cotrell Funeral Home. Funeral services will follow at 2:30 p.m.

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