Scott Minter was born in Eugene on June 1, 1961, to Joan Pine Minter and James Minter, Scott lived the first few years of his life at Horton, near Triangle Lake, where his father grew up and his great-grandfather originally settled in the late 1800s. When Scott was four, and his brother Steven was two, his father took a job with Pioneer Telephone Cooperative and the family moved to Philomath. Track and cross-country were a shared passion for the four Minter children—Scott; Steven, born in 1963; Julie, born in 1970; and Jeff, born in 1971. They all attended Philomath schools and ran cross-country and track. But for Scott, running was a key to overcoming his shyness. As he became the number one distance runner on the team, his confidence soared. He was the district champion in cross-country and track and placed in the state championships in both, and he won the Corvallis Gazette-Times 10,000-meter race for the fourteen to nineteen age group.
After graduating from Philomath High in 1979, where he was awarded a sportsmanship trophy by the teachers and administrators, Scott went on to major in welding at Lane Community College. He had enjoyed welding during high school, having won welding awards, and spent one summer working for Manley Thompson doing welding. While he attended Lane, Scott ran cross-country for three seasons and was red-shirted during his first year. He went to a cross-country national competition with Lane, where his team placed sixth. On his own, Scott qualified both years at regionals and went on to national competitions in both Idaho and Tennessee. Also during his years at Lane, he won the Mt. Hood Invitational race. When he came down with mononucleosis and had to quit school for three months, he stopped running competitively, but he still ran.
Scott accepted a full-time job at Davis & Sons Dairy Farm on Bellfountain Road, where he had worked during his college summers. At Davis & Son, he welded steel bins and racks and designed and built various equipment. He remained involved in running at Philomath High as a volunteer and booster for Philomath runners. It was back at Philomath High that Scott met the woman who would become his wife. His sister Julie, who was on the basketball team, introduced Scott to Alice Tichenor, an Oregon State University student who had been hired to coach the freshman girls’ team. A little over a year later, on March 29, 1986, Scott and Alice were married.
Alice continued studying at OSU and earned her degree in 1988, and Scott, who was still working at Davis & Sons and encouraging Alice with her coaching, had decided that once she got a full-time job, he would like to return to school to earn his teaching credentials. But on July 4, 1990, as Scott was getting out of bed to go to work, he flopped back onto the bed. Alice thought he was joking around, and before she realized something was wrong, Scott went into convulsions. She immediately called 911 and started CPR, but the paramedics were unable to revive him. There was no evidence of a heart attack, and sudden cardiac dysrhythmia was given as the cause of death. Scott was only twenty-nine years old.
In a letter he wrote upon hearing of Scott Minter’s death, high-school cross country teammate Chris Terfloth shared a story about a race that captured the essence of Scott’s generous spirit. Chris had decided to push himself to keep up with Scott. “After the first two laps Scott turned and saw me, perhaps a little surprised (I wasn’t exactly in his league as a runner) but he didn’t pull away, he let me stay with him. I struggled to maintain my pace as Scott cruised along (he was always a fluid runner). Two laps to go and I was still with him! One lap and I was still there! Scott turned his head and said softly, “I’m going to take off now Terf, keep going!!” With that he pulled away and won easily by fifty yards or so…. He was a great source of inspiration and had a quiet confidence; not cockiness, but confidence.”
Paul Mariman remained Scott’s good friend after the days of coaching him. The family started a scholarship fund at Philomath High School from memorial contributions made in Scott’s memory. In addition, Paul was still coaching at PHS and had started the Timbertown cross-country meet each October at the high school. The proceeds from the meet were donated to Scott’s scholarship fund as well. When Paul died, his family requested that donations be made to Scott’s scholarship fund in Paul’s honor, and people continue to donate.
Even in death, Scott gave to others. As a living donor, his death helped several lives, including a cancer patient who needed a bone graft on his leg to go on living. “We were always pretty proud of him,” said Scott’s father. It is a sentiment shared by the community and all who knew Scott.