Walter R. Stacy of Oak Bluffs died at home on Sunday, February 6, the day before his 92nd birthday. He was born on February 7, 1919, the third of five children born to Frank and Gertrude Stacy. His eldest sibling died in infancy.
Walter’s father was a Congregational minister and the family moved several times during his childhood, at times living in Vermont, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. He lost both of his parents by the age of 12 and was raised under the guardianship of his aunt through his teen years, which were spent in New York and Vermont for the most part. He began working at Parker’s Candy Store in Haverhill, Mass., in 1936, then at Hilliard’s Kitch-in-Vue Candies in 1940. On January 12, 1941, he married Elizabeth Hilliard, the daughter of Perley and Jessie Hilliard.
Walt worked for Hilliard’s Kitch-in-Vue Candies until 1952. At that time he and Liz moved their six children to Camden, N.Y., and opened Sta-See Candies in their home there. Walt worked at a variety of jobs in Camden, as well as running the family candy business, opening two branches in Rome, N.Y., in the early 1960s.
In 1965 Walt accepted the position of service manager at Camp Aldersgate, in Brantingham, N.Y., a summer camp belonging to the Northern New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. He and Liz were there for 15 years until 1980. In 1982, they purchased the Hilliard’s Kitch-in-Vue Candies on Circuit Ave in Oak Bluffs from the Hilliard family, which they ran until June of 1989 when they sold it to Liz’s nephew, David Hilliard.
Walt was affectionately known as “the candy man” to many people, even after he was no longer in the candy business. After selling Hilliard’s, he worked for the Steamship
Authority on the dock in Oak Bluffs. That ended in 1994 after he had a moped accident in Florida. He later began working at the Oak Bluffs Information Booth at the foot of Circuit Ave.
Walter was predeceased by both his parents and his wife, Elizabeth, and his son, Raymond Walter Stacy, who died in a car accident in 1966. He was also predeceased by his sister, Madeline Chase of Brattleboro, Vermont, and his two brothers, Lawrence and Richard Stacy.
He is survived by his five daughters: Susan Thurber of Oak Bluffs, Janet Whiting of Syracuse, N.Y., JoAn Dunn and Diane Murdock, both from Cazenovia, N.Y., and Brenda Mastromonaco of Oak Bluffs. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren, including Christopher Thurber of Vineyard Haven and Josiah Mastromonaco of Oak Bluffs, and 13 great-grandchildren, including Samantha Thurber of Oak Bluffs.
There will be no visiting hours, and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Walter’s name may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, Trinity Circle, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.