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Michael Kittredge, founder of Yankee Candle Co., passed away at the age of 67 due to liver failure following a brief illness. Kittredge’s homemade candle, created as a teenager, eventually led to the establishment of Yankee Candle, which became a global phenomenon. He was known for his creativity, vision, and passion, and his success represented the American Dream. Kittredge was also a philanthropist and a two-time cancer survivor. His death was unexpected and he will be remembered for his significant contributions.
Summary of michael kittredge cause of death
|Cause of Death||Liver failure|
|Age at Death||67 years old|
Michael Kittredge, Founder of Yankee Candle, Dies at 67
Michael J. Kittredge II, the founder of Yankee Candle Co., passed away at the age of 67 after a brief illness. Kittredge, who started the company as a teenager, turned his homemade candle into a global phenomenon. He died surrounded by family and friends at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Kittredge’s son, Michael J. “Mick” Kittredge III, revealed that his father’s cause of death was liver failure, which came as a surprise to the family. They had only learned about his undetermined terminal illness six days prior. Despite his unexpected passing, Mick Kittredge hopes his father’s legacy will be remembered as the epitome of the American Dream and rags to riches.
The story of Yankee Candle began when a cash-strapped Kittredge, unable to afford a present for his mother, melted crayons on the family stove at the age of 16. He sold the resulting candle to a neighbor and used the money to buy more wax, making one for his mother and another to sell. With the help of his father, Kittredge opened a small retail shop and eventually moved into an old paper mill in Holyoke. In 1983, the flagship store in South Deerfield opened its doors, solidifying Yankee Candle’s position in the industry.
After years of success, Kittredge sold 90 percent of Yankee Candle’s shares to a private equity company for $500 million in 1998. He took a break from business and enjoyed his retirement by traveling with family and friends to various destinations around the world.
Throughout his life, Kittredge was not only a successful entrepreneur but also a two-time cancer survivor. As a result, he became a dedicated supporter of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and served on its board of directors. He also contributed to the creation of several philanthropic endeavors, including Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Kittredge Surgery Center and Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Center.
In memory of Kittredge, the family has requested donations to be made to any of these organizations instead of sending flowers. No public calling hours or funeral services have been announced at this time.
Kittredge’s impact on the candle industry extended beyond Yankee Candle. In 2010, he joined forces with his son to launch the Kringle Candle Co. and its associated Farm Table restaurant in Bernardston. Despite suffering a stroke in 2012 that limited his movement and speech, Kittredge remained involved in the industry.
Michael Kittredge is survived by his son, Michael J. Kittredge III, and two daughters, Kylie Madison and Casey Jean. He leaves behind a legacy of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and the American Dream.
Remembering Michael Kittredge: A Legacy of Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy
Michael J. Kittredge II, the visionary founder of Yankee Candle Co., passed away on Wednesday evening at the age of 67 after a brief illness. His remarkable journey from a cash-strapped teenager to the creator of a global candle empire has left an indelible mark on the industry. Surrounded by loved ones, Kittredge breathed his last at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
The American Dream Personified
Michael J. “Mick” Kittredge III, the son of the candle-making pioneer, revealed that his father’s unexpected demise was caused by liver failure. The family had only discovered his terminal illness six days prior. As they come to terms with their loss, Mick Kittredge hopes that his father will be remembered as the epitome of the American Dream, someone who transformed adversity into prosperity.
Kittredge’s journey to success began when, as a teenager, he couldn’t afford a traditional Christmas present for his mother. Instead, he melted crayons on the family stove to create a unique candle. Selling it to a neighbor, he used the proceeds to buy more wax, crafting one candle for his mother and another to sell. Together with his father’s support, Kittredge opened a small retail shop and eventually relocated to an old paper mill in Holyoke. This marked the first step toward establishing the iconic Yankee Candle brand.
The breakthrough came in 1983, when the flagship store in South Deerfield opened its doors. It quickly became a must-visit destination, attracting candle enthusiasts from far and wide. The popularity of Yankee Candle soared, thanks to Kittredge’s unwavering dedication and entrepreneurial spirit.
An Icon and Philanthropist
In 1998, after years of building his empire, Kittredge sold 90 percent of Yankee Candle’s shares to a private equity company for a staggering $500 million. Taking a well-deserved break from business, he devoted his time to exploring the world with family and friends. A passionate traveler, Kittredge embarked on numerous adventures, exploring the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Alaska, Australia, and even Antarctica.
Aside from his phenomenal success in the candle industry, Kittredge was a two-time cancer survivor. This experience deeply impacted him and inspired a lifelong commitment to supporting those battling the disease. He became a staunch advocate and supporter of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, dedicating years of service to its board of directors. Kittredge also played a pivotal role in the creation of the Kittredge Surgery Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College, and various other philanthropic endeavors.
In honor of Kittredge’s legacy, the family has requested that instead of sending flowers, donations be made to any of the organizations he established or supported throughout his lifetime. This serves as a testament to his unwavering commitment to uplifting communities and ensuring accessible, high-quality healthcare for all.
Continuing the Candle-Making Legacy
Despite facing personal challenges, Kittredge’s love for candles and entrepreneurship never wavered. In 2010, he joined forces with his son, Michael J. Kittredge III, to launch the Kringle Candle Co. and its associated Farm Table restaurant in Bernardston. The candle-making tradition continued, with the stove where Kittredge and his son made their first candles now on display at Kringle.
In 2012, Kittredge suffered a stroke that significantly restricted his mobility and speech. Despite this setback, he remained actively involved in the candle industry, leaving an undeniable legacy of creativity and innovation.
Michael Kittredge leaves behind his son, Michael J. Kittredge III, and two daughters, Kylie Madison and Casey Jean. His impact is felt not only in the candle industry but also in the countless lives he touched through his philanthropy and unwavering support for cancer research and treatment.
- What was Michael Kittredge known for?
Michael Kittredge was known as the founder of Yankee Candle Co., which he started as a cash-strapped teenager and turned into a global phenomenon.
- What was the cause of Michael Kittredge’s death?
Michael Kittredge passed away due to liver failure after a brief illness.
- What philanthropic endeavors did Michael Kittredge support?
Michael Kittredge was a dedicated supporter of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and served on its board of directors. He also contributed to the creation of the Kittredge Surgery Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College, among other philanthropic endeavors.
- What is the legacy of Michael Kittredge?
Michael Kittredge’s legacy is one of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and the American Dream. He demonstrated how determination and creativity can transform adversity into success and gave back to his community through various charitable initiatives.
- What is Kittredge Candle Co.?
Kittredge Candle Co. is a venture founded by Michael J. Kittredge III, the son of Michael J. Kittredge II. It continues the candle-making tradition started by Michael Kittredge and offers a range of high-quality candles.
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