Right up until he died Sunday, Scott Doty did everythng from scratch. Or as one friend said, "he did it from the ground up," right out of the garages and soccer fields of Barnegat Township.
Everything he did, school officials and friends say, was authentic, original and no-frills - the kind of stuff that was genuine, and never phony.
He did everything for his hometown of Barnegat, like building his race car from scratch, painting it with the Bengal colors of orange and black and racing number "4" at the New Egypt Speedway.
He never pretended to be anything more - or want anything bigger than that, friends say.
That was how Doty was until he suffered what was apparently a fatal "heart issue" Saturday, friends say, while racing in New Egypt. Now friends and school officials are missing the man who gave them so much and asked for so little.
Everytime Doty fixed something, he tried to save a buck, like re-using perfectly good parts in his role as lead mechanic for the school district, instead of shopping for something else.
"He was never afraid to do a little extra work himself," Barnegat School District Superintendent Karen Wood said. "It was probably the only job he ever knew."
Doty died Sunday morning at a hospital near the speedway after working nearly two decades in the Barnegat school system. Bill Cox, transportation coordinator for the Barnegat Township district, said he last talked to Doty on Saturday.
He noted that Doty apparently had undertaken racing fairly recently, so he wished him well before he raced Saturday.
"i told him, 'Let's try to win one for once,' " Cox jokingly told him, saying he didn't actually know how Doty performed as a whole. "He just laughed."
Doty was a high school student in the late 1980s when he started working for the district's transportation department as part of a work-study program, Wood said.
He started as a mechanic in 1989, back when the students went to Southern Regional High School and nearly a decade before the Bengals' home was built. The district was K-8 at the time, but Doty found plenty to do.
The father of a boy and girl, who also liked to coach soccer, Doty was always willing to work longer to find ways to save money. Some of those decisions he made, friends and officials said, were a matter of common sense.
"Instead of replacing a door (to a vehicle), he would refinish the door," Wood said "He's a Barnegat guy. His kids go to our schools.
"We've been impacted pretty significantly by his death," said Wood, noting that Doty's stepmother and sister also work in the district.
Cox said he had a hard time finding a picture of Doty to put on his Facebook page Sunday that didn't have somebody else in it. That was reflective of his generous spirit, he said.
"No matter where he was, he was always doing something," Cox said. "He made himself available 24 hours a day."