CANTON -- Wesley L. Stitt, 87, died Thursday February 15, 2018 at his home. Wes was born April 2, 1930 in Morrisburg, Ontario to the late Douglas and Hilda Stitt. He was a graduate of Morrisburg Collegiate Institute and St. Lawrence University.
He will be remembered by his wife of 53 years, Janet; his children, Jennifer (Reggie) McDonald and Douglas (Beth) Stitt; his grandchildren, Matthew and James McDonald, Laura and Anna Stitt.
He is survived by his nephew, Larry (Brenda) Stitt; and nieces, Marilyn Hummel, Rosie Stitt and their families. He was predeceased by his brothers in Morrisburg, Bruce (Ruth) and Glenn.
An adopted son of the North Country, Wes came to Saint Lawrence County as a Skating Saint where he played on the squad that placed 3rd in the 1956 NCAA tournament and continued a lifelong connection to Saint Lawrence hockey. After completion of graduate school, Wes became a U.S. citizen and embarked on a career as an educator and advocate of the North Country, initially as a History teacher at Heuvelton Central School. Guiding and assisting students to reach their potential was his passion and calling leading him to become the Guidance Director at Heuvelton. Wes quickly earned the reputation as a mentor, friend, and coach to many and epitomized the tenacity and spirit of the school’s mascot, the Bulldogs.
In 1979, Wes became Superintendent of Schools for the Ogdensburg City School District, a position he held for eleven years. In that time frame Wes sought to improve the lives of the students, teachers and the Ogdensburg community. The Ogdensburg City School District enjoyed a renaissance as a result of his tireless work on behalf of the school and its students. He pursued curriculum improvements, facility modernizations and innovative educational opportunities for students. Wes was a fixture at any concert, sporting event or school activity, passing along his boundless energy, enthusiasm and care for his students and their well-being. At the time of his retirement in 1990, Wes was the longest tenured Superintendent for the Ogdensburg City School District, leaving an indelible mark upon the school district, its students and the community. Wes will be fondly remembered by many former students and faculty from Heuvelton and Ogdensburg.
Wes transitioned quickly in retirement to serve on many boards and organizations, most notably the Remington Art Museum and the Canton College Council. The Remington Museum was a source of civic pride to Wes and he would proudly note any photo taken in the Oval Office where a President was pictured in front of a Remington bronze. SUNY Canton was a lifelong passion of Wes, evolving from encouraging Heuvelton students to take Canton college courses in the early 1970s to membership on the College Council as the school transformed into a 4 year SUNY institutionwith state of the art facilities. Wes was a passionate and fervent believer in all that the North Country had to offer in its greatest resource, its people. Wes was also proud to donate his time and energy to assist the Heuvelton Development Corporation and the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club. Wes was a member of the SD&G Highlanders, the Morrisburg Legion, Friends of St. Lawrence Hockey, and the Ogdensburg Elks.
A service to honor Wes will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Canton on February 24 at 2 PM. Friends are encouraged to share memories with the family at The Club at 3 PM.
Memorial donations may be made to the Stitt Family Scholarship, Canton College Foundation, 34 Cornell Drive Canton, NY 13617 or to a charity of one’s choice.
Lawrence Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Canton is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.lawrencefuneralhome.org.