MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee icon who dedicated her life to helping the downtrodden has passed away at the age of 90. The loss of Mother Scott, as she was best known, leaves a major void in the community she served.
Naomi Scott died on Tuesday night, December 20th, but her legacy will live on.
"She just felt like a mother to me," Bobby Sharkey said.
Many of those having breakfast at Scott Christian Youth Fellowship Center on N. Teutonia near Center Street would probably say the same thing about the center's founder, Naomi Scott.
The center has served as a beacon of light for those who have lost their way.
"I thank God for having a mother like that. My mother only had a 10th grade education, and she did so much for other people, not just her three daughters -- for the community," Annie Wilson, Mother Scott's daughter said.
Mother Scott opened the center in 1974, catering to the youth and eventually, adults -- the needy, those addicted to drugs and the homeless -- providing free clothing, food and shelter.
"I'm gonna tell you -- she wasn't a push over. She was not that kind. She would tell you exactly -- she would look in your eyes and tell you exactly what you needed to know to get your life strengthened," Wilson said.
Bobby Sharkey saw that side of her.
"She always told me what was right .You know, when I would mess up -- and I did a lot of messing up, she would always tell me about my wrong," Sharkey said.
Sharkey said he needed that.
"She helped me with my children, with clothing, feeding. Not only her, but her husband as well," Varlee Hudson said.
Hudson said she became good friends with Mother Scott and a member of her church.
The sign outside the now-pink building says: "Everyone welcome."
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For example, in 2014, the center was selected for the first Fein Brothers "Soup Kitchen Makeover," and some really old equipment was replaced.
Mother Scott was elated.
"What really makes it important to me is because I feel that I had a call from God to do my work at that address and He has proven that He has called me and never would leave me," Mother Scott said.
"I'm not sad about her death because I know she's going to go to heaven," Wilson said.
Mother Scott's great-granddaughter Adrianna Wilson wants to continue Mother Scott's life's work.
"I'm just going to miss her. She will always keep a spot in my heart, and one day I hope to strive to be just like Mother Scott," Wilsons aid.
At last check, the family had not yet finalized funeral arrangements for Mother Scott. We'll be updating this story when we receive the details.