mike scott pluumbing

Mike Scott, second from left, founded Mike Scott Plumbing in 1987. Here he is pictured with his wife, Pat, and his children, Jason, Tracy Scott-Hinde and Shawn, who now oversee the multi-county business. Mike Scott died Wednesday in a car crash in Hernando County.

With $500 and one van to his name in 1987, Mike Scott launched his own fledgling business.

More than 30 years later, the humble beginnings of Mike Scott Plumbing have expanded to encompass Citrus, Marion, Sumter and Alachua counties. But Scott never forgot the support he received when he stepped out on his own.

“My memory is how supportive he was of the community that supported him,” said Margie Leturno, a member of the Citrus County Fair Board. Scott first sponsored her son’s, Tanner, soccer team when he was 4 years old. In addition, she said his company had purchased her son’s last five steers as well as countless others throughout the years at the Citrus County Fair. “He’s very much given back to the community that allowed him, out of a van, to build up a successful business.”

The 69-year-old Crystal River resident and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who started Mike Scott Plumbing died Wednesday morning when the Ford F-150 truck he was driving hit the back of a 2008 Thomas School Bus at the intersection of Bourassa Boulevard and Commercial Way, according to Florida Highway Patrol traffic report.

The bus had stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway prior to making a right hand turn onto Bourassa Boulevard, the FHP reported. Scott collided with the rear of the bus. Scott died on scene, while 10 students on the bus suffered minor injuries and were transported to area hospitals.

Wow, said Hal Porter, the longtime Citrus County Fair manager, upon learning the news of Scott’s death.

“Mr. Scott was a tremendous supporter of everything that happened here at the fair,” Porter said. “His interactions with the young folks; it did not matter what event we were hosting, you could count on Mike Scott Plumbing to participate, support it and do the best they could for all of the children.”

That support from his company continues today with his children, Porter said.

“I’ve known Mr. Scott for a long, long time,” Porter said. “My favorite memory was when (his family) was here, I’d always visit with them for a minute. I always enjoyed their company and their support.”

His company has left “quite a legacy” at the fairgrounds his children are continuing.

“He was absolutely our go-to contact,” Porter said. “He participated in almost every request from me or the fairgrounds. Mr. Scott and Mrs. Pat, it was just easy; they were our friends.

“He will be tremendously missed; I can honestly say, his legacy will live on with the hands he left (his company) in.”

In honor of his success, Mike Scott Plumbing established a “Pipeline to Success Scholarship” awarding $500 to 10 students. Additionally, the company supported local Boys and Girls Clubs and Citrus, Sumter, and Marion youth sports and many other local nonprofits too numerous to mention, the company’s website stated.

"What a great guy and a great family,” said Josh Wooten, Citrus County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “They've always meant so much to this community, both economically and philanthropically.

“Personally, he was my buddy on social media; we'd comment back and forth on different things. This is awful news, awful for his family."

Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy contributed to this report.