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Dr. Robert T. Scott, Carroll County orthodontist, dies

Dr. Robert T. Scott, a retired Carroll County orthodontist who participated in humanitarian missions to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Morocco and Kenya, and also produced wines at his Westminster vineyard, died Friday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center of complications from a fall.

The Westminster resident was 73.

"He was a larger-than-life kind of guy who was an outstanding role model personally and professionally," said Dr. Jeffrey Jarvis, a fellow orthodontist who was a student of Dr. Scott's at the University of Maryland Dental School and is now a partner in Scott, Pitrone, Sorkin & Jarvis.

"He did everything on the highest level, and his mission was to achieve at the highest level for the patients," he said.

"His death is a great loss to society because he really cared about people," said Tammy G. Fesche, founder and executive director of Equadent Foundation, a group founded in 1990 to bring medical and dental care to Ecuadorean children.

"He touched thousands of children in Ecuador through the years with orthodonture and cleft lip and palate corrective surgery" she said. "He was very compassionate, had a beautiful manner, and was a very giving person."

The son of James R. Scott, a Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. worker, and Elizabeth Twining Scott, a nursery owner, Robert Twining Scott was born in Baltimore and raised in Randallstown. He graduated from Milford Mill High School in 1961.

He obtained a bachelor's degree in 1965 from Western Maryland College — now McDaniel College — and was a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland Dental School, where he obtained a dental degree in 1969.

From 1969 to 1971, he served as a dentist in the Navy Dental Corps, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 1973, he received a master's degree in orthodontics from the Georgetown University School of Dentistry.

Dr. Scott established a private orthodontic practice in Westminster in 1973. He eventually took on three other partners and opened offices in West Friendship, Turf Valley, Hampstead, Eldersburg and Taneytown.

"He had been one of my instructors at Maryland, and I was drawn to him because of his ability at diagnosing and assessing treatment, and we developed a close relationship," Dr. Jarvis said.

"He was a great instructor and took time off to train students. And he was also the consummate student, always learning, and was not a dogmatic person," he said.

"If he saw or heard about something that was new, he'd say, 'Let's try it,' so he was always evolving," Dr. Jarvis said.

"Patients liked him very much because he had a jovial personality and he really cared about them. He also expected them to be responsible and sometimes he'd have to get them to sign a pledge, which he put in their chart," he said. "He achieved outstanding results in the end for his patients."

Dr. Scott became a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics in 1985, and had chaired the Maryland and Middle Atlantic Societies of Orthodontists.

From 2000 and even after his retirement in 2014, he continued teaching in the orthodontic program at the University of Maryland.

In addition to his professional and academic life, Dr. Scott was consumed with helping children, and with dental problems across the world.

"When I founded Ecuadent, Bob was one of the first recruits that went to Ecuador with me, and that was 27 years ago," said Ms. Fesche, a native of that country. "He decided to join me as a volunteer and he took a chance with me and my idea of providing free high-quality dental care to impoverished children."

The organization visited Ecuador two or three times a year.

"He loved working with the younger patients and helping them replace their missing front teeth with dental appliances. This was very important for them, as was cleft lip and palate surgery," she said.

Ms. Fesche said Dr. Scott also supported the organization financially and donated his vineyard and wine for fundraising events.

"He connected with the other Ecuadent volunteers and made everyone feel welcome and comfortable," Ms. Fesche wrote in a statement announcing Dr. Scott's death to the Ecuadent family.

"At dinner, he enjoyed a good glass of wine while sharing his extensive knowledge with the group," she wrote. "He was always out on the dance floor and had a great time learning about the culture of Ecuadoreans while sharing a bit of Taneytown and Westminster."

He also traveled on similar humanitarian missions with the Commission on Missions Dental Team to Costa Rica and with Operation Smile to Morocco and Kenya.

Dr. Scott was also a founder of the Montessori School in Westminster and was a longtime member and president of the Westminster Rotary Club. For more than 20 years, he was a director of Union National Bank, which later became Mercantile Bank.

Since 2007, he had served as chairman of the Industrial Development Authority of Carroll County.

Based on his volunteerism, he was inducted into the International College of Dentists. In 1977, he was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Westminster Jaycees, and in 1993, he was made a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.

McDaniel College presented him the Alumni Community Service Award in 2006, and the Community Foundation of Carroll County named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

He was a longtime member of Westminster United Methodist Church where he served on the staff parish relations, building and finance committees.

Dr. Scott and his wife of 37 years, the former Carolyn Seaman, lived on a 47-acre farm on Old Taneytown Road, where he planted more than 2,000 vines and produced both red and white wines from his Bellendene Vineyard.

He enjoyed fishing and scuba diving in the Cayman Islands and underwater photography.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Baker Chapel on the Westminster campus of McDaniel College.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Scott is survived by his son, David Scott of Rockville; a daughter, Suzanne Altpeter of Winter Garden, Fla.; a stepson, Andrew Ingalls of Westminster, a stepdaughter, Allison Gladden of Taneytown; a sister, Sarah Totten of Uniontown; and eight grandchildren.

frasmussen@baltsun.com

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