Bryan Lawrence was made an MBE for his services to the movement in 2015 and held the Scout Association’s highest award - the Silver Wolf.
Friends and colleagues said he had shaped hundreds of young lives in Scarborough during more than 60 years of service.
Trish Jordan, who succeeded Bryan as group leader at First Scarborough Scouts, said: “He was loved by so many people. He spoke his mind, but he always had a joke and Scouting was his life. He loved it.
“His lads, and he always called them his lads, are all over the world now but he made such an impact on them that many of them kept in touch from far and wide.
“I don’t think a week went by when we didn’t have a chat and he was always there to pick you up. He was just a wonderful person.”
The group organised a ‘retirement’ party in January for Bryan at the headquarters in Maple Drive, and despite his illness, he managed to attend alongside hundreds of other people. A remembrance garden with a walnut tree has also been created as a tribute to him.
Despite not being a Scout as a child, Bryan became a leader aged 17 after agreeing to cover for a friend who was emigrating.
He went on to oversee the building of the Scout Headquarters in Maple Drive, which opened in 1970.
Away from Scouting, he trained as a plumber and joined the family business after leaving school.
He stepped down as leader of First Scarborough Scouts in 2010, but he continued as president and treasurer and to help out afterwards.
Speaking to The Scarborough News when he retired, Bryan said “We’ve had an unbelievable amount of lads down there over the years, and it’s been verysatisfying to see what they’ve become.
“There are people all over the world that were at that first Scarborough group - I still hear from people in Australia, Germany, Canada and the USA.
“I’ve made so many friends in Scouting.”
His wife Heather died last year and he leaves stepchildren and grandchildren.
A funeral service for Bryan will be held at St Columba Church on Tuesday at 11am.