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Stephen C. Ricciardi

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Stephen C. Ricciardi well known in Quincy, New Bedford and eastern Massachusetts for his business activities in property development and the rehabilitation of historic mill buildings, died surrounded by family members on November 12, 2012 at Quincy Medical Center, after a brief illness. Stephens professional history includes teaching economics at the graduate level, masonry cleaning and restoration, real estate development including new construction, and adaptive re-use of historic buildings, most recently in New Bedford. According to New Bedfords former Mayor Scott Lang, Steve changed the landscape of New Bedford. He set a great example for all entrepreneurs and those who dont shy away from challenges. His soft spoken, modest manner could not conceal his strength of character and intellect. Born in Quincy, he graduated from North Quincy High School in 1962 and enroll as an undergraduate at Boston University. There he was elected Treasurer of his class and later class President, President of Scarlet Key and Vice President of the Delta Honor Society. He was active in sports: the wrestling team; and the crew team, rowing from the position of anchor. After graduating from Boston University with a BA in Economics in 1966, earned a masters degree in England at the London School of Economics. While completing coursework as a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School of Finance, he taught mathematical statistics and econometrics, and simultaneously taught economics at LaSalle College. At the University of Pennsylvania he met Dana Dauterman, who became his wife of 43 years. The birth of their daughter Lygeia prompted Mr. Ricciardi to think about the opportunities open to the mature businessmen he was teaching at the Wharton School. He had already paid his own way through college and graduate school and broadened his business perspective during the summers by making milkshakes at McDonalds, going door-to-door as a Fuller Brush salesman, interning in Washington DC at the U.S. Department of Labor, and working in his fathers businesses, Ricciardi Granite Company and the Quincy Memorial Company of West Quincy. In 1972 he left academia to join forces with his father, helping to steer the granite and monument company in the direction of masonry restoration. The firm became the largest masonry cleaning and restoration company in Massachusetts, and restored numerous historically significant buildings including the Quincy Market buildings, the Mercantile and Union Wharf buildings in Boston, and many others throughout New England. Stephen later shifted the focus to developing and constructing buildings with his father Paul and brother Paul Jr. Through the 1980s and early 90s the company built more than 20 and half million sq. feet throughout eastern Mass., including several projects in Quincy. In the 1990s Stephen founded Acorn Management Co. The name refers to a quote on his high school yearbook page: From a tiny acorn grows a mighty oak. With Acorn Management, in the early 2000s, Stephen turned his attention to New Bedford and the adaptive reuse of historic mills, building on a lifelong passion for history. The first and most ambitious project converted the Wamsutta Mills into residential units and commercial space. The 500,000 square foot mill, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was originally the home of the company that manufactured percale sheets supplying the worlds finest hotels and passenger ships. This project earned him the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Impact Award and the Sarah R. Delano Preservation Award among others. Stephen then undertook the conversion of the former Whitman Mill. Built in 1896 for William Whitman, the mill was designed by Charles Makepeace, an internationally known architect. This building, too, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. For the "magnificent rehabilitation of Victoria Riverside Town House Lofts as loft apartments he was again awarded the Sarah R. Delano Preservation Award and the New Bedford Preservation Society Elm Award. A third project in New Bedford is the Riverbank Lofts, currently under construction, in the former Cliftex Clothing factory building, a stones throw from Victoria Riverside on the Acushnet River. Guided by Stephens bold vision and meticulous attention to detail, the rehabilitation is continuing under the direction of Stephen Ricciardis son Quentin with the support of Acorn Management colleagues. Wherever Stephen worked he was known for his ability to think outside the box, his determination and humor. We in New Bedford are less in his absence, commented Matthew Morrissey, Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Corp. According to Stephens son Quentin, his father was able to see anything, including buildings and people, both for what they were and for what they had the potential to be, and he left everyone and everything he touched better off for having known him. Many of Stephens friends and business associates remember him as a long-time member of the Quincy Rotary Club, for which he served as President. He was Vice President of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Planning Board of the City of Quincy. He served on the Board of Managers of Quincy City Hospital (now Quincy Medical Center), Quincy Historical Society, and the Salvation Army. While Stephens intense focus and unflinching determination informed his public face, at his core was an unwavering commitment to people, most of all his family. He would do anything for his beloved wife Dana and his children | daughter Lygeia and son Quentin | and many others in his extended family. As a young child he took under his wing his sister Gloria, who had Down Syndrome, and protected her from the unkindness and insensitivity of other children. He genuinely enjoyed helping people, especially those who had experienced a hard knock or two. He had an uncanny ability to connect with people and make them feel at home, charming them with an apt remark, a smile, or a joke. He enjoyed his work, family gatherings and travel in Italy. At a recent high school reunion he described himself as happy, with few regrets. Stephen Ricciardi was the son of the late Paul and Rose (Youdis) Ricciardi. He is survived by his wife, Dana Dauterman Ricciardi; a daughter, Lygeia Marie Ricciardi of Washington, DC, and her husband Eric Eversmann; a son, Stephen Paul Quentin Ricciardi of Quincy; two granddaughters, Leela Marie Eversmann and Ada Rose Eversmann; two brothers, Robert P. Ricciardi, of Philadelphia and his wife Susan; and Paul F. Ricciardi of Norwell and his wife Laurie. Many devoted members of his extended family also mourn his loss. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, at the First Baptist Church of Wollaston (81 Prospect Avenue) in Quincy, at 11 a.m. An additional celebration of Stephen Ricciardis life will be scheduled in New Bedford on Friday, December 7, at Victoria Riverside at 4 p.m. Donations in Stephens memory may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Ste 304, Chicago, IL 60611 or www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org. to Friends of Boston University Mens Crew, 285 Babcock St., Boston, MA 02215.

Published in The Patriot Ledger on Nov. 28, 2012
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