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Former NC First Lady Jessie Rae Scott passes away at 81



HAW RIVER, NC –- Former North Carolina First Lady Jessie Rae Scott passed away early this morning as a result of a fall she had earlier this year, according to her family. She was the wife of the late NC Governor Robert "Bob" Walter Scott, and her death brings to close a life of service to her family, church and community.

Scott had been hospitalized since July after she suffered a fall on her way to visit a friend. She died peacefully early this morning at the Hillcrest Convalescence Center in Durham. A funeral service is planned for later this week at Hawfields Presbyterian Church in Mebane. The date and time are still being determined.

Born in 1929 to humble roots in Swepsonville, Jessie Rae Scott graduated from Greensboro Women’s College – now UNC-Greensboro – and married Bob Scott in 1951. She provided quiet, steady leadership for a family growing up in the spotlight during tumultuous times. She was just as comfortable raising her children on the family farm as mingling with heads of state in the Governor’s Mansion.

Although she is best known as a First Lady of North Carolina, Scott had her own part to play in North Carolina history. She worked tirelessly for the passage of the constitutional amendment for equal rights for women in North Carolina and ran for Commissioner of Labor in the mid 1970s. She also was an ardent supporter of the American Cancer Society, including being chairman of the board and president of the NC Division of the American Cancer Society in 1982. She received the Society’s Sword of Hope award in 1982 and was named an Honorary Life Member in 1995.

For more information on Jessie Rae Scott or any other members of the Scott Family, please visit

Family Statement on the death of Former First Lady Jessie Rae Scott

Dec. 26, 2010

Today, our beloved mother and grandmother passed away after a lifetime of loving care for us as a family. We will miss her dearly. She modeled for us a strong and gifted woman who was fully committed to family while being an equal partner with her husband in service to the community and the state. She modeled compassion and openness of heart through a tireless commitment to civil rights. She showed us how to meet life’s challenges with dignity, grace and humor.

We will always remember and be grateful for her strength, wisdom, courage and love that followed each of us throughout our lives.

We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers during this time. We are grateful for the many friends in North Carolina who have supported our family throughout the years.


The Scott Family of Hawfields

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