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Michael Scott
August 04, 2023


Dr. R. Michael Scott, 82, passed away at his home in Mattapoisett, MA on August 4, 2023 with his beloved wife, Susan, at his side.

Dr. Scott served for many years as Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at Boston Children's Hospital and as Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School.

He carried out pioneering work on the neurosurgical treatment of stroke in children and was an internationally recognized authority on vascular malformations of the brain in pediatric patients.

He was born in Philadelphia as the oldest of four children and the son of Michael Scott, a neurosurgeon, and Catherine Fadde Scott, a child welfare nurse.

After his early schooling in the Philadelphia area, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in 1962 where he majored in English and he obtained his MD degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 1966 where he was Senior Class President.

After a Surgical Internship at Boston City Hospital and a two-year clinical research fellowship at the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke, he began Neurosurgical residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital, completing his Chief Residency in 1973.

Dr. Scott began his academic Neurosurgical career at Tufts Medical Center where he worked for 15 years, developing a specialty practice in Pediatric and Vascular neurosurgery. He then joined the faculty at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he became a full Professor and was appointed Neurosurgeon-in-Chief in 2004.

He received lifetime achievement awards from the Neurosurgical Society of America, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Joint Pediatric Section and The New England Neurosurgical Society.

A revered teacher, Dr. Scott received the Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School in recognition of his training and mentoring of countless residents and students of all levels of medical training. Throughout his career, he trained more than 25 fellows who themselves became leaders in Pediatric Neurosurgery throughout the country.

Mike had many interests outside of medicine including gardening, literature, opera, classical music, and cinema. Chief among them was his love of jazz and jazz piano-playing.
He headed a neurosurgical jazz quintet that played throughout the country for more than 20 years at neurosurgical meetings. He particularly enjoyed playing inventive jazz duets with an accomplished trumpet-playing friend, Jim Rose.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Susan Taylor Scott, whom he met when she was an operating room nurse at the New England Medical Center.
Mike treasured the many years they had together with long walks, theater, concerts, dinners and travels. Their Mattapoisett home was a beautiful quiet retreat where they could be alone together, garden together and enjoy the company of neighbors.

Through the years, with his brother, Dick and his wife, Mary, Mike and Susan enjoyed walking tours to Croatia, Sicily, England, France, and Italy. There were also memorable visits to Normandy and Northern Ireland with his siblings Dick, Bill, Judy, and their spouses. An annual month in Hawaii with Susan was a treasured respite in his post-retirement years.

Mike was a loving father to his three children, Elizabeth Tervo, Robert and David Scott and to his stepdaughter, Heather Bliss. He loved being with his five grandchildren: Paul, Lucy, Taylor, Isabella and Mae, whether taking one of them to a Red Sox or Bruins game or just hanging out with them playing board games, singing at the piano or gardening. He also shared his love of gardening with his daughter, Elizabeth, even though she lived on the West Coast, by trading photos of their prized plants and flowers. Like Mike, his sons Robert and David are accomplished musicians themselves, and when the trio got together, their jam sessions were spectacular.

Mike's first wife, Catharine Sweeney Scott, pre-deceased him and he is survived by their three children; Elizabeth Tervo and her husband, Father Michael Tervo of Bellingham, WA; and by Robert Scott of Provincetown, MA and David Scott of Brooklyn, NY. He is also survived by his stepdaughter, Heather, and her husband, Greg Bliss of Hingham, MA.

Mike has three surviving siblings: Richard Scott and his wife, Mary, of Dedham, William Scott and his wife, Helene, of Indianapolis and Judith Scott and her husband, Don Stillman of Orcas Island, Washington.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations in Dr. Scott's memory be made to Temple University School of Medicine for benefit of the Catherine G. Scott Scholarship Fund or to The Southcoast VNA Hospice Program at A time for remembrance will be held at a future date.

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Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Home
50 County Road, Route 6
Mattapoisett, MA 02739