Scottee Patricia Nista of East Sandwich, passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer on October 17, 2013, at the McCarthy Care Center. She was fifty years young. Her family cannot say enough about how wonderful the nurses and staff were during this most difficult time.
Scottee was born on October 31, 1962 in Modesto, CA to Evelyn and Charles Kittrell. Since her birthday was on Halloween, she figured everyone dressed up and went and got candy on their birthday. Scottee retired from the Department of the Interior National Park Service as a Park Ranger, after a career that spanned decades. Her career with the Park Service was varied and full of adventures that only few of us could imagine or hope for. Her mom remembers when Scottee filled out the application to work for the Park Service…she wanted to work at Yellowstone, and took some liberty with rating her skills. She told her mom, "if you don't toot your own horn, nobody will." What skills she didn't have she learned and excelled at. The Yellowstone position found Scottee training to be an EMT and flying helitack rescues. She is featured in a National Geographic article giving CPR to a grizzly bear.
Yosemite introduced her to fighting wildfires. Her job at Lowell National Historical Park brought her to the east coast where she would meet and fall in love with Joseph R. Nista, Jr. They were married on February 12, 1988 in the middle of a raging blizzard. Scottee was the first and only, to this date, horse patrol ranger at Lowell. Her first year at Cape Cod National Seashore was spent as a horseback patrol ranger in the dunes of Provincetown in the era of the nude bathing controversy; she actually had to arrest one of the seashore's most ardent nudist protesters. She and Rick spent a year at Kings Canyon in California where they endured a record snowfall of 300 inches in one winter. Needless to say, that was enough life in the Sierra Mountains for them. Once back on the east coast Scottee returned the Cape Cod National Seashore. She was an interpretive ranger and in charge of running the Salt Pond Visitor Center. Kayak tours on the salt pond were one of her favorites. She loved sharing her passion for nature and why it was so important to preserve it for future generations. Just before her illness forced her to retire she was the assistant to the Park Superintendent.
Rick and Scottee made a home in East Sandwich. Their daughter Rachel was born on November 7, 1998 and was her pride and joy. Ever the protector of the earth, Scottee chose to name her daughter Rachel after Rachel Carson, who wrote Silent Spring. After her retirement, she was selected to study to become a master gardener with the Cape Cod Extension Service. She graduated and shared her knowledge and her hand raised plants with friends and family. Though she knew from the outset that her disease would some day ultimately overcome her, she faced each day, each treatment, each doctor's appointment and ultimately each setback with tremendous inner strength and courage. Scottee could not have done this without the devotion of her husband and her daughter.
She is survived by her parents, Evelyn and Chuck, her husband Joseph, her daughter Rachel, her brother Steve, and her nieces and nephew. Visiting hours will be held on Friday, October 25, 2013 from 4 to 7 pm in the Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home, 154 Route 6A in Sandwich. Funeral services in the funeral home will begin at 11 am on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Hope Hospice, 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis 02601 or on line at hopehealthco.org