Joseph E. Scott retired from John Deere Tractor Co. in East Moline, Ill., and returned to his hometown of Waveland with a mission to help make the community a better place to live.
Mission accomplished, according to Earllean Washington, who served with Scott on the Waveland Community Organization. Scott, 77, was president of WCO, which established the Helping Hands Recreation Center across from a community park.
Scott helped the group raise money for the needy and food for the hungry and helped work with police and city officials to "clean up" unsavory activity around the park.Scott, called "Mr. Joe" around town, also was known for his likable personality.
He loved teasing and joking, working on church projects and fishing, said Sylvester Harrington. Scott ran Uncle Joe's Cafe on Central Avenue in Bay St. Louis for a short while after retiring. Scott awaited Hurricane Katrina at home with his wife, Bobbie, his mother and his mother-in-law. Scott apparently went out a window to get a boat to save them from rising water.
"The current was so strong, it swept him away," Harrington said. "They found his body across the street, 75 to 80 yards away in the woods."