Late Lompoc teenager Noah Scott was remembered Wednesday morning for his dedication as a big brother and a baseball fan, for his dry sense of humor and a quirkiness that not many got to see, and for his resilience in the face of enormous obstacles.
Those who were closest to him, though, said that Noah's most lasting legacy will be his unwavering Christian faith and the way that he used that faith to bring together and inspire an entire community.
Noah, who lost his battle with leukemia on June 30 at the age of 15, was celebrated Wednesday during a mostly upbeat funeral at Pacific Christian Center in Orcutt. Noah’s family members and friends who spoke at the ceremony encouraged those in attendance, a total that reached at least a few hundred, to follow Noah’s lead and do their best to make the world a better place.
“One thing I’d like to make sure that you guys know, is be intentional,” Kristin Scott, Noah’s mother, said as she fought back tears. “You know, we get so busy with our life, you just go through life. Make it a point to be kind. Be intentional. Noah was that.
“Noah was an intentional kind person,” she added, her voice giving way.
Wednesday’s celebration of life was the latest in what has been a nearly yearlong, communitywide show of support for Noah and the Scott family.
Noah was the son of Lompoc Police Cpl. Charles Scott, and the Lompoc Police Department immediately began rallying around the Scott family following Noah’s initial diagnosis last summer. Orange decals — orange is the color of leukemia awareness — with messages of encouragement were placed on most LPD vehicles and members of the police department started fundraising for the family.
From there, the entire Lompoc community — and beyond — got involved.
Orange ribbons and balloons were placed on utility poles and trees up and down North H Street in Lompoc, several community organizations and student groups hosted fundraisers for the family, and many local businesses offered support either with banners and messages on window displays, financial assistance, or both.
An online GoFundMe fundraiser had raised more than $26,300 for the family as of Wednesday afternoon.
Noah’s message, however, extended well beyond Lompoc and the Central Coast.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy, a Lompoc native, dedicated his July 9 start against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium to Noah, a fact that was noted, along with a brief description of Noah’s battle, on the Fox Sports broadcast of the game.
“We know he was a shy guy, but he was an impactful young man,” Joey Robison, the pastor at Lompoc’s North Avenue Baptist Church, said at Wednesday’s service. “He moved in people’s hearts. He had a way of opening all of us up to God’s love.”
Robison shared a story of how Noah once helped raise $1,000 that he then, through his own decision, gave to a fellow church member who was dealing with an illness. He said Noah was too humble to have ever publicly shared that story himself, but that it is a good example of Noah’s mindset.
“That’s the kind of kid Noah was,” Robison said. “That’s the kind of people he wants us to be. Don’t just brush by people; take time to notice them. Meet them where they are. Touch their hearts.”
Those close to Noah said Wednesday that the teen never complained of his circumstances and instead viewed his illness as a way to serve his faith by spreading a message of Christianity.
Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh said he was personally inspired by Noah’s spirit.
“One of the most amazing outcomes of this last year was how this young man brought a community together, how he brought young and old to God and how he showed others how to have faith,” Walsh said.
Wednesday’s service featured singing — including a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” which was said to have been Noah’s favorite song — and an extended photo slideshow that was set to music and included pictures of Noah with his parents, his two younger brothers and younger sister, and members of his extended family.
Following the service, Noah's body was taken to Evergreen Cemetery in Lompoc at the front of procession that wounded down Highway 1 from Orcutt. A private ceremony was held at the gravesite, while a barbecue celebration kicked off at Johns-Manville Park.
Noah could be seen sporting gear from his favorite team, the San Francisco Giants, in several of the photos from the slideshow. In one of the lighter moments of the service, Noah’s grandfather, a Dodgers fan, got some laughs when he noted that Noah had finally gotten him to wear orange — he, like many other family members, had an orange tie draped over a black button-up shirt — instead of his usual Dodger blue.
Zachary, Noah’s little brother, joined his mother at the podium to pay his final respects to his brother. He also brought up Noah’s willingness to be a messenger for Christ and the family’s shared love of baseball.
Zachary said that his dad and brothers had a discussion years ago in which they decided that whoever got to heaven first would get to be the first-team captain for pickup baseball, and the second person in heaven would be the second-team captain.
“So we’re like, ‘Oh great, Jesus is on his team,’” Zachary said, drawing laughs from the audience amid the sniffles and tears.
He concluded on a more serious note.
“My brother is the most amazing person and he’s the strongest person you will ever meet,” he said. “When he was in the worst pain and he didn’t want to walk through it anymore, he didn’t complain, but instead he prayed for his nurses and he prayed for his doctors and he prayed for everyone who was following him — instead of being mad. I don’t know how he did that, because I would’ve gotten mad. He did what very many could not.
“My brother was just amazing,” he later added. “He still is.”