BOSTON — Michael J. Kittredge II, the founder of Yankee Candle, passed away in Boston on Wednesday evening after a brief illness.
Kittredge is best-known as the entrepreneurial founder of the Yankee Candle Company, which he began in his family home in 1969. His innovations helped make the company’s Deerfield flagship store one of the most-visited attractions in Massachusetts.
Kittredge re-entered the candle business in 2010, helping his son Michael III launch the Kringle Candle Company and its associated Farm Table Restaurant in Bernardston MA.
Kittredge suffered a stroke 2012 which limited his movement and speech.
As a two-time cancer survivor, Kittredge became a supporter of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and served on its Board of Directors for years. Kittredge helped create Cooley-Dickinson Hospital’s Kittredge Surgical Center, Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Center, the Kittredge Building at The Bement School in Deerfield and many other philanthropic endeavors.