It is with extreme sadness that Scott’s family announces his unexpected passing on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington at the age of 52. Scott suffered a catastrophic anoxic brain injury while preforming a deep water dive on the Judge Hart shipwreck in northern Lake Superior. Beloved husband and best friend of Jodi Skeates (originally of LaSalle, Ontario). Doting dad to his critters: Bandit, Missy, Bella and Tippy (aka George) and foster dad to Charlie. Much loved son of Shirley Stitt (nee Steed, originally of Stratford, Ontario) and son-in-law of Don and Jo-Anne Skeates of Kingsville, Ontario. Dear brother-in-law of Sheri and Bob Wismer and cherished Uncle Skippy of Joel and Julia, all of Amherstburg, Ontario. Nephew of Gord and Elaine Steed and cousin of James, Kristine and Suzanne Steed. Very best friend of Todd Ziegler and the late Michel “Frogman” Guerin. Scott will be fondly remembered by his Toronto Firefighter brothers and sisters, innumerable friends from the local and international diving community, members of the Great Lakes Gliding Club, several relatives and friends in the Stratford area, and his extended Biancales Boxer family.
Scott Stitt was a former commercial hard-hat diver with hundreds of hours of mixed gas and saturation dives logged in the offshore oil and gas industry. He worked with Texas A&M University and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) as an underwater field archaeologist. Scott held a B.Sc. in environmental science and was a 27-year veteran of the Toronto Fire Department, working his way to the rank of Acting Captain. He was a trimix instructor and cave diver, who worked as an underwater videographer and technical dive supervisor for the Undersea Explorers television show. After a lengthy hiatus from diving, in recent years Scott recommenced his work as a diving photojournalist and speaker. In a recent article in Diver Magazine, Scott corrected the history of Grenada’s shipwreck the Bianca C. He was one of the few people (including Jacques Cousteau) to locate and explore the 1813 wrecks of the Hamilton and Scourge which sit at a depth of 300 feet in Lake Ontario; the exploration and documentation of Scott and his team was recently featured in the 2013 film, “Shipwrecked on a Great Lake”. He was also the recipient of numerous underwater photo awards.
Scott was a tireless ocean and environmental activist, avid traveler, and lover of marine, wild, and domestic animals. He remains the most fascinating and kindhearted man who feared living a life of mediocrity and instead lived life to its fullest and did his best everyday make a difference in the lives of others and the world we live in.
Visitation at SMITH’S FUNERAL HOME, 1167 Guelph Line (one stoplight north of QEW, BURLINGTON, 905-632-3333 on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 7-9 p.m. and Thursday August 24, 2017 from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. where a Funeral Service to Celebrate Scott’s Life will be held in the Chapel on Friday, August 25. 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Private Cremation.
If desired, donations in Scott’s memory can be made to Boxer Rescue of Ontario (a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to placing abandoned, injured or sick boxer dogs in loving homes in Ontario) or Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization with the mission to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans), would be sincerely appreciated.
Finally, in continuation of Scott’s conservation work, please reconsider your use of plastic bags, cups, and drinking straws. In spring, plant flowers that help the bee and Monarch butterfly population. And the winter, feed the birds (as well as the squirrels).
Scott’s zest for life, sense of adventure, love of the marine world and all animals has made him unforgettable.