Obituary : Stephen R. Crampton
Stephen Rutty Crampton, 70, the loving husband of Susan C. Crampton, died of leukemia at Massachusetts General Hospital on January 23. Before succumbing to the disease, he received a bone-marrow transplant through the efforts of Massachusetts General Hospital and also an experimental vaccine at the Dana Farber Cancer Center.
Stephen R. Crampton was born in New Haven, Conn., on November 30, 1939, the son of the late Dr. Clair Beebe and Charlotte (Rutty) Crampton. He grew up in Middletown, Conn., an active athlete in basketball, soccer, and tennis. He attended the St. Georges School in Newport, R.I., where he developed many life-long friends. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1961, where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity, Blue Key, and Waubanaukee honor societies. He later gained his masters degree in 1967 at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., followed by a law degree at the College of William and Mary Law School in 1970.
At the start of his junior year at Middlebury College, Steve met his life companion, Susan (Comstock). He felt their 48-year marriage was his greatest treasure and the bedrock for his life. Steve and Susan shared the love and loss of their first daughter, Karen, who died in 1965 at the age of two and a half years. He carried Karen's memory throughout his life.
After graduating from William and Mary Law School, Steve and his growing family moved to Jericho, Vt. He practiced law for 35 years in Burlington, Vt., at the firm of Gravel and Shea, helping clients on their projects involving land use and conservation. He was known for his success in balancing the needs of land development and the environment. Steve was an early Vermont member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. In addition to his law practice, he was also an adjunct professor at the Vermont Law School in the late 1970s.
Steve first visited Martha's Vineyard in the mid 60s when his father, Dr. Crampton, assisted Dr. Russell Hoxsie with the summer rush of injuries and illnesses on the Island. He may best be remembered on the Vineyard as a steward of the Island's land and its resources through various organizations. He served as president of Sheriff's Meadow Foundation from 2006 to 2008, and led a period of great change and growth.
He will be sorely missed on Hines Point for his cheerful greetings and self-appointed role as the conservationist who would pick up any trash along the road during his daily bike ride. Steve was an avid athlete, playing tennis, biking, skiing, hiking in the mountains, and more recently, golfing, as a member of the Mink Meadows and Hawks Nest Golf Clubs. Many friendships and an active tennis league led Steve and Susan to Sea Oaks in Vero Beach, Fla., where they have spent many happy winters. He will be missed by the Florida Habitat for Humanity, where he helped quite often.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; his two surviving children, son Stephen C. Crampton and his wife, Rachael, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; and daughter Kathryn E. Crampton and her husband, Jason E. Lang, of Ponte Vedra, Fla.; six grandchildren, Charlotte, Lucas, and Bridget Crampton, and Elizabeth "Ellie," Sydney, and Samuel Lang; his sister, Jane Reed, and her husband, Christopher, of Cambridge; his brother, Michael D. Crampton, and his wife, Ardith, of West Hartford, Conn.; many nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, including his nephew and "adopted" son, David Jones.
A funeral service will be Friday, Jan. 29, at 1 pm, at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven, with the Rev. Robert E. Hensley officiating. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. There will be no calling hours.
Friends who prefer may make contributions in his memory to one of the following: Sheriff's Meadow Foundation (Wakeman Center, 57 David Ave., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568); Martha's Vineyard Hospital (sent to M.V. Hospital Development Office, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA, 02557); or Massachusetts General Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Fund (sent to MGH Development Office, 165 Cambridge Street, Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114).
Since Steve was able to receive a bone marrow donation, please consider registering to be a potential bone marrow donor via the National Bone Marrow Registry at BeTheMatch.com. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.