Cover photo for Scott A. Michell's Obituary
Scott A. Michell Profile Photo
1956 Scott 2022

Scott A. Michell

September 6, 1956 — August 2, 2022


Scott Michell rode a chairlift to heaven on August 2, 2022, shouting "best powder day ever!" He was 65 years young. For over 12 years, Scott, with his loving wife and daughters by his side, battled Posterior Cortical Atrophy, a rare visual variant of Alzheimer's. Albeit a devastating and cruel disease, Scott transformed into a more compassionate, kind and gentle version of himself, facing the disease with grace and humility.

Born in Erie, PA on September 6, 1956, Scott began adventuring at a young age. His family spent winter weekends skiing and summer vacations road-tripping across the country exploring National Parks.

After high school, he traveled solo across the country, visiting and camping in multiple states, landing for the first time in Montana at Big Arm State Park, sparking his love for Montana.

Scott graduated from Penn State University in 1978 in Mechanical Engineering, never skipping a single college class! His dorm room was bursting with outdoor gear as weekends (rain or shine) were spent skiing, hiking, rock-climbing, winter camping, biking and road-tripping with friends.

He started his engineering career at General Electric before moving west to work as a civilian for the US Navy. With expertise in underwater acoustics, Scott worked for the Department of Defense. In a nutshell, his job was to make submarines quiet. With a TOP SECRET clearance, "work" was never a topic of conversation. Deep in the waters of Puget Sound, Hawaii, Alaska and Idaho is where he spent the most time on submarines (often sleeping in torpedo bays).

Scott met Rita Becker at Green Lake in Seattle in August of 1986 and they were married on the waters of Puget Sound on August 9, 1987. Sailing in the San Juan Islands was the perfect honeymoon and Scott's passion for sailing was born. For 5 years, sailing and sailboat racing was woven into the fabric of their lives. Annual sailing trips to the Washington and Canadian San Juan Islands were spiritual, magical and unforgettable. Scott & Rita were married one week shy of 35 years.

In the spring 1996, they sold their sailboat, ordered a white-water raft, and loaded their 4-Runner with mountain bikes, a quiver of skis, fishing & camping gear and a canoe. With baby Kate on board, they put Seattle in their rearview mirror and set a course for a new chapter of life in Missoula, Montana. Sara was born in 1998 and joined their many adventures.

Scott loved being outside; the more time he spent outside, the happier he was. With the utmost respect for Mother Nature, he loved weather and all of its elements. Feeling hot or freezing cold, the wind in his hair, and the snow or rain on his face, made him feel alive.

As a "gear-head," he loved gadgets, tools and sporting equipment and could spend hours engaged in conversation about the finer details of all of his "stuff." Continual adventuring not only required a lot of gear, it fostered a culture of never-ending packing and unpacking. It was his way of life, a life he loved and cherished.

Scott was all about adventure and his zest for life was contagious, always willing to take one last ski run before the lifts closed, have another beer, ride his bike up one more hill, or take a detour on a road trip to check out something new. He was all about more…more fun, more adventure and cramming as much as possible into each day. "Seize the day", "Live in the moment" and "Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today" were just a few of the truths he lived by.

He loved sailboat racing, white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, road biking, sailing, hiking, camping, fly-fishing, downhill, cross country and telemark skiing, snowshoeing, and backcountry skiing/camping, and he did them all passionately. Scott ensured his daughters were in on all of it, they were skiing as soon as they could walk, camping when they were tiny, fly fishing up the Rattlesnake, floating the Smith River six times (no guides for him) and many biking adventures. The outdoors were full of family activities. In addition, Scott loved to include friends, it made everything more fun! Skiing trips to Big Sky & Grand Targhee and camping in the wilds are fondly remembered by many.

Wickedly smart, profoundly articulate with a pen, vibrant and engaging, with a wry sense of humor and infectious laugh, Scott was known to push the envelope to the extreme, earning the nickname, The X-man. Scott was truly one-of-a-kind, a man who lived life to the fullest. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

Scott was preceded in death by his parents, Jane (August 2014), and Al (93) just 6 short weeks ago on June 21, 2022.

He is survived by his wife Rita, their daughters, Kate (26) and fiancé Cy Steele, and Sara (24) and her husband, Ethan Jones. Scott's sister, Karen Savino and husband Dominick, Long Island New York. Scott's niece, Nicole Savino Kase and husband Rob, children, Jack & Ryan. Scott's nephew, Christopher Savino, his children, Christopher Luke, Nicholas and Jonathan. Rita's parents, Bob & Jane Becker, Rita's siblings, Susan Zins (Rich), Mary Campagnaro (John), John Becker (Monica) and Barbara Marlow (Michael). Nieces & nephews: Connor (Kari) & Myer Zins, Bella & Ali Campagnaro, Kelsi Schram (Cole, son Hudson), Logan & Morgan Becker, Courtney, Jeffrey & Haley Marlow.

Our family wishes to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Senescence Care "St Thomas Home", Big Sky Palliative & Hospice, and our family and many friends. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Big Sky Palliative & Hospice, 1900 S. Reserve Street, Missoula MT 59801, Senescence Care "St Thomas Home", 3000 St. Thomas Drive, Missoula MT 59803, or the charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Scott’s Life will be held on Thursday, September 8th, at Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula at 5:00 pm. Dress casual, be comfortable and colorful; Scott so loved bright colors and bike jerseys. As you might imagine there will be a party in true "Scott Michell fashion" to follow with good food, libations, and stories …

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Scott A. Michell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, September 8, 2022

Starts at 5:00 pm (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home & Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

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