John Michael Scott

ELLENSBURG, WASH./LAMOINE – John Michael Scott of Ellensburg, Wash., died suddenly at his home on Feb. 8, 2017. He was born on Feb. 26, 1941, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to John H. Scott and Constance L. Scott.

Following his idyllic childhood, he began his travels to a number of locations throughout the country. First he went to Maine as a teenager, then off to California for community college. After a couple years, he returned to Hawaii and worked as a stevedore and attended the University of Hawaii. During his time in Hawaii, Michael worked as a roofer, head of security at night clubs in Honolulu, before starting his own gym with his very dear friend Gary Watanabe.

The legendary Power Pit gym opened in November 1978 and closed in 1989. Through the years at the Power Pit, Michael and Gary created something very special. They had such a variety of people, all with different reasons for joining the gym, but with the philosophy that they all belonged. Michael often referred to the Power Pit as being a true Ohana. The iron game was always a large part of Michael’s life, whether he was participating himself or serving as a coach or mentor in Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, or strength sports. Michael was fortunate to begin his weightlifting career under the three-time Olympic medalist Tommy Kono. One of Michael’s trademarks throughout the years was his long beautiful blond hair. He use to love telling the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger telling him, “Michael, you should have been Conan,” for the movie “Conan the Barbarian.” After spending most of his life in Hawaii, Michael moved back to Maine in 1995 and became a landscaper. He truly loved the demands of physical labor and working outdoors.

Looking for a new adventure in 2006, Michael moved to Ellensburg, Wash., with his beloved wife, Kristy. They built a home and became happy members of their new community. Michael worked for Kittitas County for the last 10 years for the noxious weed control board. He thoroughly enjoyed his work and his co-workers; retirement was not in his immediate plans. Michael felt his work and activity kept him young, both physically and mentally. He was frequently complimented on his youthful appearance.

Michael, also known as Mike, Mickey and even “Iron Mike” from his days as a powerlifter, made many good friends wherever he went. He lived life with enthusiasm and had a tremendous heart. Michael was passionate about so many things in life, whether drag racing or any other sport for that matter, current world news, music, fine dining; he found a way to connect with everyone he came in contact with. He was a great conversationalist and was genuinely kind, caring, and compassionate. Michael attracted people with his infectious personality, big smile, and sparkle in his eyes. His aloha spirit shined brightly no matter where he traveled.

In addition to his devoted wife, Kristy, he leaves his sisters Susan and Gretchen, his brother Geff, his stepmother Margaret Armstrong, and Deanna Nollette-Diaz whom he long thought of as his dear daughter. Michael cherished the friends he made throughout his life and he was loved by so many of them. He will be deeply missed yet his legacy will live on in all those he touched.

There will be a celebration of life for Michael on Saturday, March 11, at the Outrigger Canoe Club, 2909 Kalakaua Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nature Conservancy in memory of Michael. Please come to share your fond memories. Feel free to bring along your favorite picture to contribute to a memorial board.

Know when to pay your respects.