Raymond F. Scott, of Clarence, a World War II veteran and self-taught auto mechanic who opened his own business, died Monday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 83.
Born in Buffalo, as a teenager he worked with his uncle, a master carpenter, building and remodeling homes.
Mr. Scott was inducted into the Army toward the end of World War II, serving from 1945 to 1947. Afterward, he worked for New York Central Railroad, trained as a typist and telegraph operator; he later worked in the tower, as a controller switching tracks.
A self-taught auto mechanic who also learned on the job, Mr. Scott founded and operated Ray's Friendly Service, a Mobil service station in Williamsville, from 1955 to 1980. He was a former president of the United Garage & Gasoline Retailers of Western New York.
He moved the business to West Seneca in 1980 and re-named it Scott's Automotive, specializing in auto repairs. He sold the business to a son in 1984 and retired at age 57, although he acted as a consultant when the business underwent a major expansion in 1995.
Best known for his ability to repair almost anything, Mr. Scott acquired discarded items, then fixed them and donated them to local charities. He remodeled and expanded his own home and helped friends and neighbors with their projects.
Mr. Scott served as an usher at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Clarence, where he often worked several Masses in a row until medical issues forced him to relinquish his duties.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Jennie Pietrzak, and three sons, Walter, Michael and Gregory.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. today in Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 4375 Harris Hill Road, Clarence.