J Scott Smith died of natural causes on June 14, 2019, in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was a loving partner, father, and grandfather, and will be missed by all who knew him.
Scott was born on April 25, 1955, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He was raised by his maternal grandparents at Little Glasses Resort on the shores of Lake Texoma. He spent his childhood in and around the water, and would retain a deep love of the outdoors his entire life. He graduated from Ardmore High School in 1973, and enlisted in the Navy the following year. While in the service, he spent six months on a European deployment aboard the USS Independence, and earned the title of Petty Officer Second Class and the certification of Maintenance Material Control Officer.
In 1975, Scott married his high-school sweetheart Deborah L. Daniels. After four years in the Navy, and the arrival of their son Nathan, the family moved to Ada, OK, where Scott attended college. In 1979, they returned to Ardmore, where Scott joined the family oil and gas business and drove a fuel delivery truck. In 1982, their daughter Summer was born. Later, Scott branched out on his own and created Scotco Oil Company. A few years after that, he opened a lawn care company, and would eventually count much of the town among his clientele. He always longed to reside on the coast, however, and in 1999, he moved to Corpus Christi to join his lifelong best friend Richard Simons. For nearly 20 years, he worked as the “pool man” — not the pool boy, he would joke — at the local Holiday Inn. After the hotel sold in 2017, Scott, who was a certified pool and spa operator, started another company called Gulfshore Pools.
That same year, he met his girlfriend Diana. Though they were complete opposites, they quickly fell in love, and soon bought a condo on the beach. They spent all their free time together: dining out, walking along the shore, watching Netflix, and relaxing on their wraparound balcony overlooking the water. Scott, who was the definition of a “beach bum,” took great pleasure in living so close to the ocean, and often drove his Jeep right onto the sand. Every morning for more than a decade, he took a photo of the sun rising over the horizon. Although it began as a way to count his blessings, and also let his children know he was okay, he later took to posting the photos on social media. It became a beloved daily ritual — both for him and for those around him.
Scott will be remembered, first and foremost, as a dedicated family man. His children and grandchildren (who called him “Pop”) were the light of his life, and he was effusive with his love. He wasn’t afraid to show his emotions, and would sometimes cry with joy after receiving a simple hug. He constantly told his kids that they could do anything they put their minds to, and was extremely proud of their successes. He spent every vacation driving to see his family, rarely missing a holiday or a grandchild’s birthday.
Scott was kind, easygoing, humble, happy, and down-to-earth, without a materialistic bone in his body. He was an extremely hard worker — working seven days a week for more than two decades — and was also a man of God, who read the Bible from cover to cover several times. He got along with everybody, and always exemplified the Golden Rule. Those in his island community, from bank tellers to housekeepers, will remember him for his warmth and authenticity (and for the cookies he’d sometimes share as he walked by). There’s no doubt he will be missed by everyone whose lives he touched over his 64 years.
Scott was predeceased by his grandparents, Amos "Mac" and Charlene McChesney; parents, Joseph R. Smith and Frances Lucille McDaniel; and sister, Joe Gail Stubbs. He is survived by his girlfriend, Diana Broyles, of North Padre Island; son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Brandy Smith, and granddaughter, Gracie, of Forney, TX; daughter and son-in-law, Summer and Perry McCurley, and grandson, Gunner, of Sulphur, OK; Deborah Smith of Fort Worth, TX; longtime best friend and “brother,” Richard Simons of Corpus Christi, TX; George and Noel Stubbs of Gore, OK; Brent and Cindy Stubbs of Ardmore, OK; Debi and Jeff Buehler of Rowlett, TX; Brandon and Liz Stubbs of Tulsa, OK; and a host of family and friends who loved him dearly.
The public is invited to a celebration of Scott’s life on Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 a.m. at Whitecap Beach on North Padre Island. An additional service will be held in Ardmore, OK, at a later date, which will be announced via social media.