The cantankerous, witty, eccentric, beloved icon known as Mayor Scott, former Mayor of the City of Ocoee, died on December 21, 2017. Surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights and Christmas music, he died as he lived--as a fighter and legend. Born to Eleanor and John "Foots" Vandergrift in Ocoee, Florida, on March 22, 1940, Sam Scott Vandergrift was the youngest of 5 boys. He is survived by brother George Henry "Frog" Vandergrift and his wife Ruby Jean; his children Donna Deitrick, Lee Vandergrift and Marsha Vandergrift; son-in-law Greg Deitrick; former wife Linda Marlene Vandergrift; grandchildren Brent Deitrick and his wife Alana, Chelsea Vandergrift and fiancé Jason Antrup; great-granddaughter Dawson Deitrick; caregivers Maria Vargas and Stephanie Coan and the citizens of the City of Ocoee. Mayor Scott was predeceased by wife Beth Vandergrift.
Mayor Scott served in the Navy for 3 years on the USS Waller. He worked for Bellsouth Telephone Company for 25 years and was a real estate broker for over 40 years. Best known as the Mayor of Ocoee for 25 years, he worked diligently and devoted his life to making the City of Ocoee a better place to live. You could always spot him around town in his white Prius (Mayor mobile), and wearing shirts, hats and ties emblazoned with "Mayor Scott." He is responsible for the city gaining Ocoee High School and devoted endless hours to attending school functions. Every football season he would be on the sidelines cheering the team and taking pictures of all the fun. Often he could be found on the side of the road or in the mall sitting in a lawn chair with a sign stating "Stop and chat with the Mayor." He radiated light, warmth, wit, tackiness, fun and service. He really cared about others and lived a very impactful life. Always stating that he never met a stranger, he always made each person feel important, loved and heard. His many campaigns were run as grassroots efforts with volunteers from all over Orange County helping him to be the Mayor for the next 3 years. You knew it was election year when you entered the city limits of Ocoee and saw the tackiest, homemade signs made from old construction wood and painted with left over paint. He believed strongly in recycling and his campaigns reflected that belief. Favorite pastimes included fishing, butterflies and being Santa Claus….he LOVED Christmas. As the saying goes…."those who die in December are truly special" and Mayor Scott was truly special for sure! Celebration of life will be Thursday, January 4th at the Ocoee Community Center at 3:00 pm.
In honoring Mayor Scott butterfly plants from Betty J's Florist was his favorite florist and favorite plants. In Lieu of flowers contributions to the Ocoee Bulldogs Pop Warner Football would be a great way to honor Mayor Scott. Make contributions to OJSFL and mail to P.O. Box 748 Ocoee, FL 34761.