Memorial open house for Yankee Candle founder set for Saturday


  • Yankee Candle Company founder Michael Kittredge speaks to Greenfield High School students on March 21, 1996. A memorial for Kittredge will be held Saturday at Kringle Candle in Bernardston. Staff file photo/Paul Franz

Staff Report
Published: 9/12/2019 6:49:13 PM
Modified: 9/12/2019 6:49:03 PM

BERNARDSTON — The family of Yankee Candle Co. founder Michael J. Kittredge II invites the public to a memorial open house Saturday at the business started by the candle-making pioneer’s son.

The event is set for the Country Barn on the campus of the Kringle Candle Company, owned by Michael J. “Mick” Kittredge III, in Bernardston from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Guests may arrive at any time, as there are no specific talks or prayers planned.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Kittredge’s memory to The Bement School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or Holyoke Community College.

Kittredge, 67, died on July 24 as a result of liver failure, which Mick Kittredge said was unexpected. He was famous for starting Yankee Candle in his family’s South Hadley home in 1969 and grew it into an industry giant.

Shortly after his father’s death, Mick Kittredge said he hopes his father will be remembered as the “epitome of the American Dream and rags to riches.”

“(He) wanted to give everybody else everything he didn’t have as a kid growing up. He didn’t get anything but socks for Christmas. He had a tough childhood and really made something out of it,” Kittredge said. “He was great. He was the best father a kid could ask for. It’s hard to capture the essence of him in a few comments.”


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