The Ferris State University community was saddened by the sudden death of Scott David Atwell, a faculty member of the Ferris Library for Information Technology and Education.
Atwell, 56, of White Cloud, died of what is believed to have been natural causes while at work on Friday, Dec. 19 in Big Rapids. He is survived by his wife, Patrice; his six children, Zack, Megan, Benjamin, Sarah, Jessica and Rebecca Atwell; his father, Kenneth Atwell, of Florida; and his sister: Kendra (Peter) Sumner, of Massachusetts.
A Ferris employee since 1993, Atwell was a reference librarian and a professor of library and instructional services in the university’s library. He served as the subject specialist in the areas of art, music, philosophy and religion. Atwell also provided specialized reference and research assistance in the disciplines of medieval and renaissance musicology and music theory, locally and globally.
“Those who knew Scott will always remember his kind smile, gentle manner, his love for his family, and his passion for exercise and music,” said Scott Garrison, dean of FLITE. “He was known as a scholar, and in his 21 years as a librarian at Ferris, Scott helped many students and faculty in their learning and teaching endeavors.”
Beyond his regular work in FLITE, Atwell served on numerous university committees and was a faculty adviser during his 20-plus years as a Ferris faculty member.
Atwell earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Cape Cod Community College, in West Barnstable, Mass.; a bachelor’s degree in Music History and Literature from the University of Lowell, in Lowell, Mass.; a master’s degree in Library Science from Simmons College, in Boston; a master’s degree in Musicology from the University of New Hampshire, in Durham; and a Ph.D. in Musicology from Michigan State University, in East Lansing.
Away from work, Atwell loved training at Bassai Karate, he was an avid runner and he loved to spend time with his family.
A memorial service will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. at Northland Church of Christ (9891 Mason Drive) in Grant, Mich. with Pastor Dan Nicksich officiating. The Atwell family will be present for fellowship and refreshments in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service. Interment will take place at the Newaygo Cemetery in Newaygo, Mich.
The Ferris flag will be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, Dec. 23, in Atwell’s memory.