Donald Scott McElveen

August 7, 1962September 4, 2021

Donald Scott McElveen died on September 4, 2021 at the age of fifty-nine. A well-traveled, cultivated, fun-loving person with a sharp wit, Scott was loved by all who crossed his path, and his family and friends are profoundly saddened by his passing. A truly one-of-a-kind individual with a large appetite for life, Scott was born on August 7, 1962 at Our Lady of The Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Scott grew up in the Westminster neighborhood of Baton Rouge, and as a child attended Westminster Elementary School where his beloved mother, Joy, was principal.

Scott was preceded in death by his mother, Joy Creel Estess, and his step-father, Raymond Estess. He is survived by his father, Dr. James Donald McElveen, and Anne M. McElveen; half-sister, Mary McElveen Upton; brother-in-law, Brent Cordell Upton; and four nieces and nephews: Grant Cordell Upton, Ansley Dobbins Upton, Mary Claire Upton, and James Wilson Upton.

From an early age, Scott attended First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, and was an active member of the church’s MYF youth group throughout high school and college. Often referred to as “D. Scott” by his close friends, he was a vocal and enthusiastic participant in numerous choir tours, work trips, and church retreats, developing close friendships that he sustained his entire life, often acting as the ringleader to bring his widely scattered yet lifelong friends together.

As a teenager, Scott attended Baton Rouge High Magnet School, entering with the newly-formed magnet program’s first freshman class, where he excelled in numerous subjects, including languages, history and theatre. In college, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from LSU; studied abroad for a year at the University of Bradford in Bradford, England; did post-graduate work at the University of Angers in Angers, France; and returned to LSU to receive a Master’s degree in French.

Following his graduation from LSU, Scott taught French at Baton Rouge High, and in 1997 he began his teaching career in the New York City school system. At the time of his passing, Scott was the Department Head for Languages at La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York, New York. Scott was the motivating force behind the school exchange program for many years, introducing an entire generation of NYC public school students to the rich history and magic of Paris, French culture, and the French language. In addition, Scott was a faithful member of the Church of the Incarnation in Manhattan.

During his twenty-four years in New York, Scott lived life to the fullest. He was a lover of great food, whether from upscale venues or street vendors, was a devotee of Broadway shows, built a lasting community of friends, and adored the beauty of Manhattan’s skyline. Taking advantage of the summer breaks from his teaching profession, Scott turned into a world traveler. For many years running, Scott lived for at least a month in a wide variety of new and different locations around the globe, including Paris, London, San Francisco, Berlin, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Buenos Aires.

Of course, nothing made Scott happier than spending time at his country home in Cushing, Maine. Nestled along a peaceful Atlantic inlet, Scott loved playing the role of Master Host, attending to every little detail for his visiting guests, boiling lobster, pointing out Andrew Wyeth’s art studio at the end of his road, and serving as tour guide up and down Maine’s picturesque coast. Every Christmas, Scott would return to Louisiana and revel in all of the yuletide traditions, drink eggnog, mail Christmas cards highlighted with his own poetry, and, as the true film aficionado that he was, habitually watch his favorite holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Although Scott was known for his sharp-edged sense of humor, it paled in comparison to his outsized heart. His generosity was limitless and his acts of kindness were bestowed in equal measure on family, friends, and colleagues alike. Scott never met a stranger and continually maintained many of the friendships he formed in high school, college, and during his teaching profession. The McElveen family is grateful for the multitude of kind words and heartfelt condolences they have received from those who knew and loved Scott, but they particularly want to thank Roxy Ricci, Katherine Molinari, and Nathan Gebert, the wonderful and loving caregivers who devotedly looked after Scott during his prolonged illness.

Visitation will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Wednesday, September 15 from 10-11 a.m. with funeral services at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Fisher United Methodist Church cemetery in Franklinton, Louisiana. Pallbearers will be John DeLeon, Barry Hill, Jeff May, Charles McKenzie, Mark St. Amand, Brent Cordell Upton, Grant Cordell Upton, James Wilson Upton, and Ben Williams. Honorary pallbearers are Roxy Ricci and Nathan Gebert. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Scott’s memory should send all contributions to the National Kidney Foundation. Scott was a dear and cherished son, brother, uncle, friend, teacher, mentor, and confidante to many, many people. He will be greatly missed.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021


Donald Scott McElveen

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