Albert Stone - a respected visionary and cherished leader within his community and beyond - died peacefully in his home in Groton on December 12, 2023. He was surrounded and comforted by his devoted family at his passing. His beloved wife of 62 years, Elizabeth (Rice) Stone, preceded him in death in 2015.
Al was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on March 25, 1928, the son of Saul and Margaret (Greaney) Stone. He was raised in Haverhill, where he was a 1946 graduate of Haverhill High School. He continued his education at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and later received a Masters in Business Administration from the Harvard University School of Business.
In 1956, after serving for three years in the U.S. Navy, Al joined his father, Saul, and uncle, Edward, at Sterilite Corporation, a housewares manufacturing company based in Townsend. In the course of a career that spanned 67 years, he led Sterilite’s growth from a small regional operation to the largest plastic housewares manufacturer in the nation. Throughout this period, he unfailingly credited the hard work and dedication of the many Sterilite employees who were instrumental to the company’s growth and success. He maintained a tremendous work ethic for his entire life, and found great satisfaction in working alongside his two sons in leading the family business.
Al had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed a variety of pursuits, including: sailing, fly fishing, horseback riding, gardening, woodworking, and travel. In addition, he found pleasure in raising animals and undertaking numerous projects on his farm in Groton. Completing these tasks was very much a family endeavor, and through them he instilled in his children and grandchildren the value of hard work and stewardship.
He was perhaps best known for his service and commitment to numerous educational, cultural, and social institutions throughout the region. He held positions of leadership on the boards of many local non-profit organizations, including: Applewild School, Lawrence Academy, the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, the Nashua River Watershed Association, and Nashoba Community Hospital. Through these roles, he sought to strengthen each organization’s reach and effectiveness in carrying out its mission. In sharing his deep understanding of disciplined planning and sound operation, he had a profound impact on his community and the future of these vital institutions.
Al was deeply committed to improving the lives of others, and his generosity was felt widely. His philanthropy positively affected a broad swath of the population and created shared spaces that have strengthened the fabric of community. Some of his most notable philanthropic contributions include the funding and construction of Groton Hill Music Center, the Townsend Library and Senior Center, the Center Fire House in Townsend, the Sizer School in Fitchburg, and the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster. He was especially dedicated to the education of young people and to creating opportunities for them to grow and lead fulfilling lives.
Many in his circle of family and friends were the lucky recipients of his letters, thank you notes, and cards. While he was known for his economy with words, his messages were heartfelt and revealed the care and appreciation he felt for those in his orbit. These messages provided treasured glimpses of what truly mattered to him.
Al is survived by his five children, Susan Titterton and her husband Bob Titterton of Morrisville VT, Karen Stone and her husband David Schulz of Mystic CT, David Stone and his wife Pam Stone of Groton, Steven Stone and his wife Jennifer Stone of Concord, and Debbie MacDonald and her husband Scott MacDonald of Groton, fourteen grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his brother, Conrad Stone, of Chelmsford MA.
A Celebration of Al’s Life will be held at 1 pm on Sunday, March 24, 2024 at Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Road, Groton MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Albert Stone Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, or online at https://cfncm.org/donate-now/albert-stone-memorial-fund.
The Anderson Funeral Home at 25 Fitchburg Road in Ayer, MA is assisting the family with arrangements.