Scott Sathers

Scott Sathers
Scott Sathers and his wife were going to finalize plans for celebrating his 30th birthday, when his car plunged off the I-35W bridge.
Courtesy of the Sathers family

On Aug. 1, Scott Sathers left his job in downtown Minneapolis at Capella University, where he worked as an enrollment director, approximately 40 minutes later than usual.

Sathers called his wife Betsy at 5:50 p.m. from Washington Ave. and 35W, where he was about to get on 35W to go north to his home in Blaine. No one has heard from him since.

Betsy and Scott Sathers had plans to pick up a new car that evening. They were also going to finalize plans for celebrating his 30th birthday, which was on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Betsy had planned a surprise birthday party for Scott with friends and co-workers at the Twins game on Friday, Aug. 3. Saturday was going to be a day spent celebrating with family. Scott Sathers loved life, Betsy, family and friends, according to those who knew him best.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.

One friend says he was always excited -- about anything. He always had a new idea, and he always was right. Well, almost always.

Irrepressibly eager on his first trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Scott assigned tasks to his three friends, while Scott commandeered the position of chief navigator.

Only minutes into the Boundary Waters, however, Scott led the two-canoe flotilla into a shallow swamp, friend Sean McLean recalls.

"'I heard the water is really low this year,'" McLean remembers Scott calling out, ever encouraging his buddies to press on. But the water got lower and lower. Eventually, the canoes ran aground.

Musing for a moment, his friends decided that of all Scott's talents, navigation skills were not among them. His duties were stripped away and he was assigned to simple labor for the rest of the trip.

"To this day, we still joke about how Scott took us the wrong direction," says McLean. "But the truth is, we never would have gotten the trip organized without Scott's attitude and personality."

"He was always the entertainer," says McLean, who has been Scott Sathers' friend since the eighth grade in Wayzata. "Whether it was football games, board games or road trips, Scott always did it to the extreme. At his house, with the Vikings on one TV, NASCAR on the other, and fantasy football statistics on a computer screen, he always wanted people to enjoy themselves."

Sathers continued to be close to McLean and others. But McLean says Scott's life changed a year ago when he married Betsy.

"It was the first time we saw Scott 125 percent happy, and completely focused on one person. He definitely shifted his focus to making her happy," McLean says. "As his friends, we never saw that in him before."

Sathers also adored the family pets, two dogs named Dirk and Daisy. He was an avid golfer.

Sathers graduated from Wayzata High School in 1995, where he was member of the varsity hockey and golf teams for three years. He attended St. Olaf College and was also a member of its varsity hockey and golf teams.