The OHL family is deeply saddened by the loss of one of the League’s longest serving scouts. Long-time Erie Otters scout Walt Wingfield passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton on Wednesday at the age of 85.
Wingfield joined the Otters upon their arrival in Erie in 1996, being promoted to the role of head scout in his fourth season. He played an integral role in building championship teams in both 2002 and 2017, and served as the club’s scouting administrator in recent years.
“Walter has been with the Otters since our early days. Everyone in the organization will sorely miss his witty personality and infectious, cheerful laugh,” said Dave Brown, Erie Otters Vice President of Operations and General Manager. “Walter made a point of making everyone feel comfortable and important, and I think we will all remember him for not only the stories of his time in Erie, but also the subtle scouting traits he passed on to everyone. I’m not alone in saying the Otters organization will miss him dearly.”
A native of Hamilton, Ont., Wingfield was a defenceman for the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters during the 1953-54 season. He’d spend a lifetime in the game, serving as a familiar face in the OHL scouting community as he joined the Oshawa Generals scouting department in the 1970’s. Wingfield served on the scouting staff that produced a Memorial Cup champion in the 1986 Guelph Platers and a decade later, fielded a call from former Generals general manager Sherry Bassin to join the scouting staff of the newly formed Erie Otters club. He’s also been actively involved in the Dundas Minor Hockey Association over the years.
Walt is predeceased by his wife Anne (2007) and is survived by children Carol, Norm and Shelly along with step-children Wendy, Paul and Robin, his five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The Ontario Hockey League sends thoughts, prayers and condolences to Walt’s family and many friends at this most difficult time. For more on his celebration of life, visit turnerfamilyfuneralhome.ca.