Remembering the life of Jim Scott

By Mark Kobernick | Sept. 24, 2019, 10:23 p.m. (ET)

Jim Scott USA Table Tennis


James Hugh Scott

April 9, 1943 – Sept. 17, 2019

obit by Mark Kobernick

We are remembering the life of Jim Scott. He passed away quietly at home after a long illness, on September 17, 2019 at the age of 76.

Jim was a big booster and organizer for the sport of table tennis. He was an idea man and doer, tirelessly promoting the sport through organizing tournaments, running clubs, teaching college and youth classes, and conducting hundreds of exhibitions and events. He made a huge impact on the growth of table tennis in the Pacific Northwest region among youth and adults.

Jim is widely known since around 1990 for the Four-Star Pacific Rim Table Tennis Tournaments in Portland, OR.  He organized, promoted, and conducted these and many other tournaments. He was also the man behind the “Big Whack” table tennis program, serving scores of Oregon schools for youths from elementary through high school. He’d beat the bushes for participation from community centers, teachers, athletic directors and principals to engage a wide range of kids. If a school or Center was interested but had no tables, Jim would make it happen for them. He would lend or give and often transport tables, do exhibitions at school assemblies, and show teachers and kids how to have a lunch time and/or after school table tennis program. He was successful in getting table tennis units into the physical education curriculum at some Portland area schools, and he worked to make table tennis a letter sport at his alma mater high school.

Further, Jim arranged interscholastic competition among schools, overcoming many challenges including transportation. After preliminary meets, the school year culminated in a gathering of all participants in a college or high school gymnasium for championship team playoffs. Jim rounded up scoreboards and umpires and designed Big Whack souvenir shirts. He got sponsorship from corporations, including Portland Table Tennis Club and Paddle Palace, plus help from individuals. He did all of this as an unpaid volunteer.

Jim’s enthusiasm for table tennis was infectious—whether he was playing, working with youth, or running tournaments. He had many long-time friends in the sport, and he will be sorely missed.


Jim Scott USA Table Tennis

Now for a little about Jim’s non-table tennis life. Jim was born to Hugh Allen Scott and Erma Merre Scott (Weisser) in Salem, Oregon on April 9th, 1943, while Hugh was in Italy in the G2 section of the 3rd Infantry Division during World War II. Jim first met his father upon his return in the fall of 1945. Jim’s early life was spent moving around, from Salem to Arlington VA, Pasco WA, Kelso WA, and three houses in Portland. He played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, and high school baseball and basketball. He graduated from Madison High School in 1961 in the first four-year class since it opened in 1957. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Portland State University in 1965. Jim served in the US Army Reserve for six years in a civil affairs unit. He was a commercial insurance broker for most of his career with Marv LaPorte & Associates.

Jim is survived by daughter Casey Scott Bishop, son Ryan James Scott, sister Janet Elise Knori, brother David E. Scott, partner Muoi Knight and her daughter Huong Knight, nieces Kate Rees, Laura Cullens and Karen Scott, nephew Tim Rees, several cousins, aunt Dorothy Weisser, and many friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 3pm on Monday, September 30, at Omega Funeral, 223 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, 97233.