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LEE SCOTT BARKSDALE, JR.

Born: May 23, 1940
Died: July 7, 2017

Scott Barksdale was born in Richmond, Virginia, son of Dr. Lee Scott Barksdale and Sarah Calhoun Hudnall. He prepared for Yale at Hopewell (Va.) High School and Mercersburg Academy.

At Yale, Scott was a resident of Branford College and roomed with Bob Barnes, Bob Breault, Tim Hall and Bob Oliver. "Barksdale, Barnes, Bro, Hall and Oliver," the sign read, a quint in suites designed for only 3. Scott played on the Branford squash team and was a member of St. Elmo’s. He majored in Sociology.

Scott took junior year off, ostensibly to study in Paris at the Sorbonne. In fact, he spent the summer of 1960 in Switzerland with the Experiment in International Living and traveled in the Middle East for 4 months in addition to his time spent in Paris. Scott returned and rejoined his roommates with a stack of French phonograph records, especially of Edith Piaf. These gave your scribe a taste of Paris that lingers to this day. As a result of his 16 months abroad Scott graduated in 1963.

Following Yale Scott attended law school at University of Virginia, earning his L.L.B. in 1966. Scott, however, never practiced law but instead chose finance and investments. He worked for Smith Barney in New York for two years and then moved to San Francisco where he resided for 15 years while running his own money management enterprise. Along the way he lived for a time in a converted water tower on a building atop Russian Hill and owned a sailboat which was used to scatter the ashes of classmate Hugh Redford on the waters of San Francisco Bay in 1973. Roommate Bob Breault discovered the Barksdale penchant for towers and high places for residence when he visited Scott in Charlottesville while Scot was in law school. Scott resided in a former stone grain silo on a hilltop which had been handsomely converted to a home. It overlooked Monticello.

After a short time in Salt Lake City, Scott relocated to Sun Valley, Idaho 1983-1988 and then back to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia 1989-1990. His final move was to the Kansas City area, residing in nearby towns of Shawnee Mission, Leawood, and Stillwood until his death.

In Scott’s own words in 2002:

My investment business has been through an evolution, from money management to venture capital to various forms of business consulting, and back to venture capital, resulting in part from a series of business cycles with which most are intimately familiar. Much of it has been international in nature. It is sometimes hard to know where it stands, but it is always interesting.

In his biography for our 50th Reunion Scott added new details of his financial adventures:

Since the late '70s my work has been mostly about venture capital, or more aptly, adventure capital. Searching for the largest treasure galleon of a 300-year period. Minerals and hydrocarbon exploration. Medical devices from Russia. Hotel conversions in Hawaii, Cabo, PV and water purification systems.

Scott was married and divorced 3 times: to Lisa in Charlottesville during law school; to Katherine in San Francisco; and in 1991 to Charlotte Noble, an English woman, with whom he had two daughters, Sarah born in 1993 and Alexandra born in 1996. Having come to fatherhood late in life, Scott immersed himself in his new role. No conversation with him lasted more than a minute before he was bragging about his two beautiful daughters and their horseback riding, jumping, rock climbing, and travels. "My girls are the greatest of my gifts in a lifetime of good things," Scott wrote in his autobiography. His misadventures in marriage were far outweighed by the love of Sarah and Alexandra.

Scott had a quintuple bypass in 2002 and made an excellent recovery, able to carry on his active and adventuresome life until about 1 week before his death when he was examined in the hospital and released. On July 7, 2017, while driving in downtown Kansas City, he was suddenly taken ill. He pulled his car over to the curb and died.

Scott, nicknamed "The Fox" by his roommates, was a friend of immense energy, a winning personality, fearlessness, and always the greatest enthusiasm for his latest project. He was always the leader of any social circle he joined and a favorite of the girls. Discretion alone handicaps your scribe from relating the stories of so many beautiful women he dated. None, however, matched his beautiful wives.

In his bio in 2012 he expressed special appreciation for the lasting friendships with his "roomies" and pleasure that your scribe, "and Oliver," had not yet written his obit.

Alas I now have done so.

Scott was a unique, unforgettable guy who leaves behind a multitude of friends and the many colleagues with whom he worked over the years. Most of all he leaves two lovely daughters who blessed the final decades of his life.

Farewell, old friend.


"And Oliver"
Robert G. Oliver




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