Yankee Candle Co. founder Michael Kittredge II suffers stroke

South Hadley native and founder of the Yankee Candle Co. Michael Kittredge II underwent surgery at a Boston hospital Wednesday after suffering a stroke Tuesday.

Kittredge, 60, was “stable and resting” Wednesday afternoon following the surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, according to a post on the Kringle Candle Co.’s Facebook page. That Bernardston company is owned by his son, Michael Kittredge III.

The senior Kittredge started the Yankee Candle Co. in his parents’ home in South Hadley in 1969, moved it to Holyoke in 1972 and finally to South Deerfield in 1983. By the time he sold 90 percent of his shares to a New York investment company in 1998, it was worth $150 million and was the largest employer in Franklin County.


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