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Michael J. Kittredge II (2019), founder of Yankee Candle Company

Facebook / Mike Kittredge

He started the business in his family's garage at 17 and grew it to the largest U.S. candle company

Michael J. Kittredge II founded the Yankee Candle Company, the largest U.S. candle company known for its wide range of scented candles in jars. Kittredge founded Yankee Candle when he was just a teen, and he continued to run the company until 1998, when he sold it to a private equity company. Under Kittredge’s leadership, Yankee Candle’s flagship store in South Deerfield, Massachusetts became one of the most-visited attractions in the state. Among the most popular of Yankee Candle’s scents are Macintosh, Christmas Cookie, and Midsummer’s Night. Kittredge took several years off from candle making but reentered the business in 2010, when he helped his son launch the Kringle Candle Company.

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Died: July 24, 2019 (Who else died on July 24?)

Details of death: Died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after a brief illness at the age of 67.

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Young entrepreneur: Kittredge made his first scented candle in his family’s garage in 1969, melting crayons to create a gift for his mother. As neighbors asked to buy his candles, he formed the start-up company with the help of his friends from school, Donald MacIver and Susan Obremski. They established a factory in Holyoke, where they were able to slowly grow the business into what it is today, producing about 200,000 candles a week.

Full obituary: MassLive

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