Due to health problems, Scott Wilson, 64, of Kirkland, Washington, passed away unexpectedly Aug. 6. Wilson was a longtime vendor at Real Change, who started in August 2011. He was well known in the Real Change community for his sense of social justice and being a vocal advocate for our unhoused neighbors.
Wilson was born July 30, 1957, and grew up in Kirkland, the eldest of 6 children. His parents owned a machine shop where he worked. He also worked for many years in shipyards as a longshoreman. Friends and family remembered him for his happy and outgoing personality that would come out at large gatherings.
Wilson met his partner Sue McLeod when they were teenagers. They went on to have two kids, Michael and Robert. Wilson loved being a father and took pride in his role. He and his eldest son, Michael, were especially close. Michael died when he was 30, a loss that forever impacted Wilson.
In the last few years, Wilson struggled with health issues, which propelled him to seek out a new line of work outside of the longshore industry, which brought him to the steps of Real Change. RC staff remembers Wilson as an easy-going and caring person.
“He sold a lot of papers, and he was one of the guys that got Real Change and was really into the paper and everything that Real Change was doing. He was very supportive,” Real Change Circulation Specialist and Columnist Dr. Wes Browning said. Browning said Scott was also concerned about sweeps and took them very personally whenever sweeps were brought up in conversation.
Scott often sold newspapers at Westwood Village in West Seattle, where he built up a loyal customer base over the years. Wilson was known to often sport a button that read “I’m Already Against the Next War.” Despite Scott’s health issues, he was very positive and optimistic and talked to Real Change staff frequently about his future within the organization and outside of it.
According to family members, Wilson was making progress in a rehab center in Everett when his health unexpectedly declined. McLeod and Robert Wilson were by his side the whole time. Now Scott Wilson’s and Michael Wilson’s ashes have prominent places on McLeod’s mantle.
“To change the world, we need to change ourselves within,” Wilson said in a 2017 RC article. “We need to be grateful for what we have. With relationships, including those that end, instead of being caught in pain, we need to make them more sacred.”
Samira George covers real people living real lives in the Puget Sound. Follow her on Twitter @samirakgeorge.
Read more of the Aug. 25-31, 2021 issue.