Armstrong A. Stambaugh Jr., World War II naval veteran, Harvard Business School instructor, oil company executive, restaurant executive, and a loving and beloved man, died peacefully of respiratory failure on January 27 near his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 92.
Mr. Stambaugh, who was known as Stam to family and friends, was born on November 1, 1920, in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he participated in varsity football, swimming, and track and graduated cum laude in 1938. He entered Dartmouth College, was business manager of the school’s humor publication, the Jack-O-Lantern, and earned a B.A. in 1942.
During World War II Stam served as a Lieutenant JG in the U.S. Navy on the aircraft carrier Kitkun Bay, where he earned a Unit Citation for combat action. His war experience was a defining phase in his life. He was especially proud of being part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which has been called by some “The greatest naval battle in history.”
He wrote eloquently about his naval experience in his contribution to the book Dartmouth at War. There, he observed that his story “deserves retelling if only to impress upon my children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren the fact that life as they know it has not always been honey and roses and that my generation has had to put its life on the line to preserve what they have today.”
After the war, Stam earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, where he went on to serve as a research assistant and instructor of business administration from 1946 to 1948. He then joined Gulf Oil Corporation, where he worked until 1966, retiring as vice-president in charge of the Eastern marketing division. He then took a position with the Howard Johnson Company, ultimately rising to executive vice-president and director. He left the Howard Johnson Company in 1981 to start and operate two family restaurants in the Boston suburbs. After his retirement in 1989, he and his wife split their time between Weston and Vineyard Haven and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Among Mr. Stambaugh’s many volunteer positions were director of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, trustee of Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass., member of the Board of Overseers of the Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College, and member of the Board of Governors of the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. An avid golfer, he was a member of Paradise Valley Country Club (AZ), Pine Valley Golf Club (NJ), Kittansett (MA), Weston Golf Club, and Edgartown Golf Club.
Stam was married to Janet Turley Marting from 1943 to 1958. In 1972, he married Aagot (Ricki) Hinrichsen Cain. Ricki preceded Stam in death. He is survived by his brother, Russell J. Stambaugh; three daughters: Susan Beaton (Roy), Sally Huber (Michael), and Elizabeth Warr (Michael). Also surviving him are two grandchildren: Lauren Ewing and Hunt Huber (Carrie), three stepchildren: John Cain, Carolyn Ware (Catesby), and David Cain (Janet); step-grandchildren Wendy Cain, John Cain (Sarah), Leslie Cain, Catherine Kilduff (Patrick), Nickolas Cain, Erika Cain, Adeline Cain, and Monica Cain; a great grandson; three step-great-grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews.
Mr. Stambaugh will be buried in Linwood Cemetery, Boston Post Road, Weston, in a graveside service at 11 am on Friday, February 15, 2013. A noon reception at the Weston Golf Club will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; Parmenter Foundation, 400 Boston Post Rd, Suite 1A, Sudbury, MA 01776, or Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014.