Obituaries
Home

STEPHEN C. RICCIARDI

Obituary Condolences

STEPHEN C. RICCIARDI Obituary
RICCIARDI, Stephen C. 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. Mr. Ricciardi's 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 Bedford's former Mayor Scott Lang, "Steve changed the landscape of New Bedford. He set a great example for all entrepreneurs and those who don't shy away from challenges." Mr. Ricciardi's 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 went on to 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, Mr. Ricciardi earned a master's degree in England at the London School of Economics. While completing coursework as a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania's 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 McDonald's, going door-to-door as a Fuller Brush salesman, interning in Washington DC at the U.S. Department of Labor, and working in his father's 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. Mr. Ricciardi 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 a half million square feet throughout eastern Massachusetts, including several projects in Quincy. In the 1990s Stephen Ricciardi founded Acorn Management Company. 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, Mr. Ricciardi 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 world's 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. Mr. Ricciardi 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 stone's throw from Victoria Riverside on the Acushnet River. Guided by Mr. Ricciardi's bold vision and meticulous attention to detail, the rehabilitation is continuing under the direction of Stephen Ricciardi's son Quentin with the support of Acorn Management colleagues. Wherever Mr. Ricciardi 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 Corporation. According to Stephen Ricciardi's 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 Mr. Ricciardi's 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 Mr. Ricciardi's 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. (directions at www.firstbaptistchurchofwollaston.org) An additional celebration of Stephen Ricciardi's life will be scheduled in New Bedford on Friday, December 7, at Victoria Riverside (10 Manomet Street, www.victoriariverside.com), at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Stephen C. Ricciardi's name to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (230 East Ohio Street, Suite 304, Chicago, Illinois 60611 or www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org); or to the Friends of Boston University Men's Crew (285 Babcock Street, Boston, MA 02215).

Published in The Boston Globe on Nov. 28, 2012
+
Read More
Share
- ADVERTISEMENT -
- ADVERTISEMENT -