(Updated Monday with full obituary) Louis Stone, a warm and widely respected leader in New Haven’s civic circles, died on Thanksgiving Day after a tragic accident.
He was 62 years old.
Stone owned Chapel Construction, a commercial builder in New Haven since 1926. The company “built on almost every block” in New Haven in addition to constructing “universities, schools, hospitals, retail stores and shopping centers” in communities throughout the state, in the words of its website.
A graduate of Cornell University, Stone supported and volunteered for many not-for-profit causes in town, including serving as chairman of the board of the Clifford Beers Clinic. Stone is pictured at center in the above photo, taken at a charity event he and his wife hosted at their Beaver Hills home for the not-for-profit group All Our Kin.
News of his untimely death came as a shock and spread quickly through the community Friday.
“Lou was a passionate New Haven citizen. He grew up here, got married to Susan and raised his kids here, had his business on Ashmun Street and was active in leadership roles in New Haven community organizations,” said Mayor John DeStefano. “Anything New Haven ever did for him, Lou paid back many times over. Think of what is good about New Haven, and you come up with Lou Stone.”
Stone is survived by his wife Susan, 59; daughter Rachel, 30; son Zachary, 26; as well as by his mother Janis Stone, brother Gary Stone, and sister Barbara Bearden.
A funeral service is scheduled to take place at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden, at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Shure Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Following is a full obituary released by the family on Monday:
Louis Stone, beloved husband and father and widely-respected businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist, died unexpectedly in a tragic accident on Thanksgiving Day. He was vacationing with family at a rental cottage outside of Austin, Texas. He was 62.
Born and raised in New Haven, Louis was the CEO and owner of Chapel Construction, a downtown New Haven construction firm founded in 1926 by Louis’s grandfather Max Teitelman. Louis attended Cornell University and began working for the family business as a laborer during summers home from college. After graduating in 1973, he took on a managerial role, serving as general contractor on major commercial and industrial projects in the New Haven area and across Connecticut. During more than 40 years at the company, he oversaw the construction and renovation of downtown retail shops, car dealerships, several Master’s Houses at Yale University, and the Temple Israel School in Westport, CT. After becoming LEED-certified in 2009, he built the Jonathan Milikowsky Science Center at the Foote School in New Haven. “In our hometown of New Haven, we’ve built on almost every block,” he wrote on the company website.
A third-generation New Havener and lifelong resident of the city, Louis was an esteemed pillar of the community. He served on the boards of many area non-profits, including the Connecticut Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven. For more than a decade, he was a board member of The Clifford Beers Clinic, which provides mental health services to children who have suffered trauma, including four years as chairman of the Board.
Along with his wife Susan, he was named Outstanding Philanthropist of 2009 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Connecticut Chapter. In 2007, he was named Corporate Citizen of the Year by Business New Haven.
In addition to his philanthropy, Louis was well known for his athleticism. Basketball, golf, and skiing were lifelong passions. He served as captain of the Lee High School basketball team in 1969 and coached his children’s teams at the Jewish Community Center. He also captained the golf team at Cornell University. He skied with his family most winter weekends at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vermont, where he kept a second home.
As one of Connecticut’s top amateur golfers, he won the club championship at Woodbridge Country Club ten times and competed on the state, regional, and national levels. He won innumerable tournaments and three state championships—the Connecticut Four Ball, the State Senior Match Play Title, and the Connecticut Senior Four Ball Championship. At tri-state matches in October 2013, he achieved the most points of any Connecticut player and was undefeated in his matches. He is currently ranked third in the state for senior golfers.
Above all, Louis was a cherished and devoted family man and friend. Exuding a quiet warmth and silent strength, he was known for his quick wit, calm temperament, and love of life.
Louis is survived by his loving wife Susan; daughter Rachel, 30; son Zachary, 26; mother Janis, brother Gary, sister Barbara Bearden, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Funeral Service will be held at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden, CT, Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock. Memorial contribution may be made to the Clifford Beers Clinic, 93 Edwards St., New Haven, CT 06511, which is setting up a memorial fund in his name. A Period of Mourning will be observed at the family home, 580 Ellsworth Ave., New Haven on Tuesday following the funeral until 8 PM, on Wednesday 3-8 PM, with a Shiva Minyan Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 5:30. Funeral arrangements in care of Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, New Haven.