Obituary: Scott Berntsen
February 8, 1964 – January 10, 2021
Scott (Whitebread) Berntsen passed peacefully in his sleep on January 10, 2021, at 6 pm. He fought an aggressive glioblastoma (brain tumor) that took his body, but not his spirit. Scott celebrated life full tilt and was all in with everything he pursued in work, friendships, family, or fun. Scott leaned into every endeavor with focus and intensity. He would listen to what others wanted to talk about, to help you learn how to ski or play soccer, or to be there for you as a friend. Scott would give back to others by helping you to stretch a small budget painting or discounting what he did, lend equipment, fix broken things, or bump you ahead to start, salvage, or complete a painting project. Scott lent out his body and mind to many friends to help you lift, dumpster dive, or be there for you through a personal crisis.
Scott would dive into the winter slopes of the mountains with his buddies to ski. They drove into town in Saabs and friends would find them by looking for the Saabs parked outside, with Scott eventually upgrading to a 1986 International Scout. He was born on February 8, 1964, growing up in New Jersey, but his goal was to escape to the mountains every chance he would get. Scott completed high school at Morris Knolls High School, then spent time living in Norway with relatives and family friends, traveled by train to explore the culture and get to know some of the people in the European countryside. Even if Scott didn’t know the language, he would soon win people over with his smile and laughter. As soon as you engaged with Scott, he made you feel comfortable no matter your background or viewpoint of the world; he would open the door to you as a friend and invite you to join. Scott believed in mentorship and helped pull kids up through volunteering coaching soccer. He always went further with the kids to help some of the Hispanic players explore the wider world. He took them on soccer trips with his family and even connected one child to better dental care resulting in a new radiant smile and different ways to look at the world and its people.
Family eventually became the focus of Scott’s world. His sons, Lars and James benefitted from his love by attending every hockey or soccer game, Scott encouraged their skiing efforts, listened to sometimes painful music programs, and taught them to drive a stick in empty parking lots hoping they wouldn’t strip gears or bash into telephone poles. He loved them deeply and during his awake brain tumor surgery in December, the speech pathologist informed his wife that he spoke with pride about his two sons and how they have grown up to stand on their own to pursue their dreams. As a husband, Scott was full of love and he was a deeply caring companion to his wife, Mary. He was willing to follow her and their children to India to serve the poor at an ashram during the holiday season. As a family, they canoed, camped with their pets (including a hedgehog, rabbits, dog, and cat,) fished, biked, traveled, cried, talked, and laughed. Scott loved music passionately listening to blues, zydeco, rock, and attempted to play the ukulele very badly.
To honor and celebrate his life, listen to music that makes you happy and shake with joy, enjoy the winter slopes, give back by reaching out and change someone’s day with a kind word, thought, or deed. Scott loved life, made the most of every minute, and would like you to dive in and do the same. He will miss you, but guaranteed you will miss him more.
Please come by and light up the night with a candle in the courtyard of the United Methodist Church on Friday, January 15th between 6 and 7 pm in Scott’s memory.
People are asked not to congregate, but simply light a candle (which are provided), place it in the snow and exit the courtyard. It is the family’s wish that you mindfully move through respectfully so this memorium does not contribute to the spread of Covid. Arrangements are being handled by the Yampa Valley Funeral Home.
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