Business, Civic Leader Louis Stone Dies At 62

(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.

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posted by: cedarhillresident! on November 29, 2013  1:52pm

My prayers go out to the family. He was a wonderful man.

posted by: lsnhc on November 29, 2013  2:38pm

I knew Lou for virtually his (and my) entire life, both personally and professionally. This is an an absolutely tragic loss.  My heart goes out to his family.

posted by: sandstorm on November 29, 2013  3:52pm

Many of us are lifelong intergenerational extended “family”. This is truly a loss to the entire community. Lou was a servant leader in the most noble sense of the word.
Sadly, the lower photo is Lou with Artie Ratner, an architect and fellow traveler who, too, died much too suddenly and young.
We must live each day to our best potential as these gentlemen both did. Their memories are a blessing.

posted by: getyourfactstraight on November 29, 2013  6:18pm

My heart is aching for his wife Susan along with Rachel and Zac his two children. Lou’s love for Susan was so deep….. you could see it every time he looked at her. To him, Susan was the most beautiful woman in this world. He also was extremely proud of his children with just the deepest devotion. 
To me Lou was this quiet giant. I found him respectful and such an honest person and he didn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body.
I really got to know Lou and Susan when I became alderwoman. They were so supportive of me throughout my political career. It now seems like yesterday that Irv Stolberg (another community pillar gone) thought he might not run as a State Representative…...immediately Susan and Lou opened there home up to help advance me in the political arena by hosting in there home a fund raiser that they offered to do unsolicited. 
I raised my daughter in the house that Lou’s grand father built and lived in on Colony Rd. Lou made sure he told me the story connected to how the house was built and how that particular style of home was chosen. He made sure that I knew the family history of the house we were living in.
The last time I and my husband Jim spent a few hours with Lou and Sue was 2 years ago breaking fast at our home for Yom Kippur. I marveled as to how his calm and gentle ways had not changed one bit through all the years I have known him. Sitting with them and breaking fast even though it had been years since we had been together casually chatting took an immediate back seat. It was as if it were only yesterday.
Lou was so devoted to New Haven and will be remembered by many in many different and positive ways.
Lou Stone….. you will be missed and always remembered.

posted by: Ed Fortin on November 29, 2013  6:54pm

Our deepest sympathies to Lou’s family and many friends. I have worked with Lou for about 20 years and have known him to be deserving of all the respect I and many others I know; have for him. He will surely be missed dearly by all whose path he has crossed.  Ed & Marie Fortin

posted by: Chip on November 29, 2013  9:50pm

So sad to hear of this. I knew him many years ago and he was and exceptional, kind, warm person. My condolences to his wonderful family.  Chip Croft

posted by: Bobbe Bellamy on November 30, 2013  12:09am

Very sad to hear about the passing of a great man.  A soft spoken man.  A real gentleman.  I’ve known Lou Stone throughout my 20 year career with the New Haven Building Department.  What a wonderful person.  Prayers to the family.

posted by: tartanjug on November 30, 2013  11:14am

A really good person was taken from us much too soon.  Lou’s love of his family, friends and New Haven was always obvious.