Robert Scott Collard was born on October 19, 1959 and passed away at his South Austin home surrounded by his wife, Rae Smith, daughter, Ellie Collard, as well as friends and other family members on April 11, 2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. Scott was generous, kind, loving, and lit up every room he entered.  His absence has left a hole in our lives.

Scott was born in Phoenix, Arizona the 5th (of 6) child of George and Jane Elizabeth (Tarpening) Collard. His older sisters (Darby, Judy) and brothers (Frank, Jim) found out they were going to have a brother when they got home from school and the stakes for their new pool had been removed. Instead of a pool they got Scotty.  Because of the 10 year age difference between Scott and Judy his parents didn’t want him to grow up as an only child so Mikey came along next.  Scott and Mike lived an idyllic childhood riding bikes around Phoenix, playing with their nieces Jennifer, Denise, Nicole and Betsy who were around their same age, and spending summers in then-rustic Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona.  

Scott’s teenage years were challenging. School never held his attention but pool playing, entertaining, and travel did. At 19, he traveled the West coast working as a chef in restaurants and hotels in Seattle, Glacier NP, and Portland, to name a few. After work he’d hustle at pool halls. When he was 22 he wrecked his motorcycle in San Diego while racing and had to be hospitalized. Barely able to walk he couldn’t work, didn’t have transportation, and had no money. He called his mom and she wired him money to come home. She picked him up at the airport and told him her cancer had come back and she didn’t have much longer. Scott spent the next month recovering from his injuries while serving as caregiver to his mom until she passed on.  Scott says that motorcycle accident was the best thing to ever happen to him and it changed his life.

After a time in Phoenix his wanderlust resurfaced and he decided to make his way to the East Coast.  He made it as far as Texas. It was in Houston that he met and married Blair Knies.  Looking for a change, they moved to Austin and bought a home in South Austin in 1984. Scott tired of the life of a chef and started remodeling homes.  Scott Collard Home Improvement brought stability, financial security, and purpose.  Through woodwork and remodeling Scott was an artist. He and Blair began a life-long journey for spiritual awareness and self improvement.  After 17 years of marriage Blair and Scott’s relationship evolved into a friendship instead of a marriage and they amicably divorced.  Blair remains a member of the family and was there for Scott’s last days.  

Scott embraced all things Austin during his single period, experimenting with body choir, drum circles, you name it.  Scott was up for anything.  While at a dog funeral he met Rae Smith and was instantly smitten. Rae needed someone to put in a cat door at her house.  Scott was happy to oblige but refused payment, asking instead for her to take him to dinner.  That dinner led to a marriage in 2004, their daughter Elissa Jane (Ellie) in 2005, and love that only grew over time.

For Rae, Scott was her lucky charm.  He was always there for her and accepted all of who she is, unconditionally.  As a husband, he provided love, security and endless good times.  As a father, Scotty always put Ellie first.  During the pandemic, he remodeled Ellie’s room to allow her to have a suite that would hold all of the friends who would come and go.  The word “No” was hardly used with her.  He always loved having a house full of children.  He was and continues to be Ellie’s rock and is loved by all of her friends, many who call Scotty their 2nd father. 

Scott loved his lunches with Ellie, travel, Old Settler’s Music Festival, RV camping, boating on Lake Austin, throwing parties at the compound in South Austin, and hootenanies with the Overenders.  No matter how many people showed up to their house, Scott always greeted everyone with a smile, a hug and infinite generosity.  The restless youth who couldn’t spend more than a few months in one place found Austin and lived happily in the same house for 39 years.

Scott’s legacy and spirit lives on in his and Rae’s beloved daughter, Ellie.  He was so proud of Ellie and her accomplishments. Scott is survived by his wife Rae, daughter Ellie, brothers Frank (Jean), Jim (Jacque), sister Judy (Rudy Pacheco), brother Mike (Tina), brothers-in-law Rob Smith (Leana Layton), Scott Rylander (Mari) and Marc Rylander (Lindsay) as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  Having lost his parents he was close to his in-laws Robert Smith (Kathy) and Barbara Smith. He was predeceased by his parents, his oldest sister Darby, her husband Fred Nea and his niece Denise. 

A service honoring Scott's life will be held Friday May 19th at 2pm at The Church of Conscious Harmony on 7406 Newhall Ln in Austin with a celebration of life to follow at their home.  His ashes will be spread at his beloved Oak Creek Canyon at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to SIMS Foundation, The Other Ones Foundation, or SAFE Alliance.

Scott's desire was for everyone to wear bright colors to his ceremony. Please honor his wish and dress comfortably and festively to his service. Join us afterwards at the Smith/Collard compound to continue the celebration of his life (swimsuits optional).