State News

Memorial service held for former NC first lady

Posted December 29, 2010 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated December 29, 2010 11:56 a.m. EST

— Funeral services for former North Carolina first lady Jessie Rae Scott were held Wednesday morning at Hawfields Presbyterian Church in Mebane.

Scott died Sunday at age 81 at a convalescent center in Durham. She had been in declining health after a head injury from a fall in July when she was on her way to visit a friend.

She was the wife of the late Gov. Robert Walter “Bob” Scott. Bob Scott, who died in January 2009, served as governor from 1969 to 1973 and later headed the North Carolina Community College System.

Jessie Scott was born in 1929 in Swepsonville, and graduated from Greensboro Women’s College – now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro – and married Bob Scott in 1951. Her family said she was just as comfortable raising her children on the family farm in Alamance County as she was mingling with heads of state in the Governor’s Mansion.

She worked tirelessly for the passage of the constitutional amendment for equal rights for women in North Carolina and ran unsuccessfully for commissioner of the state Department of Labor in the mid-1970s.