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John Lavater Stoddard, 90, of Northborough passed away at his home surrounded by family on February 23. He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Phyllis (Burns) Stoddard. He leaves his three daughters and son-in-laws, Amy and Tom Fuller, of Northborough, Sara and Michael Graves, of Shrewsbury, Martha and Scott Pierson, of Shrewsbury, as well as four grandchildren, Mathew and Emily Graves and Kyle and Laura Pierson. He is survived by his sister, Diony Farr, and his niece Kendall Farr both of Florida as well as his nephew Nathaniel Stoddard of Colorado.
John was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1928. In 1950, John graduated from the University of Connecticut and married Phyllis later that year. He was recruited into the Army in 1951 during the Korean War. John wrote and broadcasted news and political commentary as a member of the Army’s First Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Group.
After the army, John worked for a Hartford radio station, selling advertising. In 1955, he was recruited by Charlie Butcher, owner of The Butcher Company. John began his career with Butcher’s as a door to door salesman. The company became known as the Butcher Polish Company and grew from a small regional business into a successful national and international company.
John and Phyllis settled into their first home in Boxford, Massachusetts, where they raised three daughters, developed lifelong friendships and were active in the close-knit community. John’s interest in the performing arts started in the Tri-Town area, and continued for more than 20 years, including acting with the Vokes Players in Wayland.
The family moved to Northborough in 1976 when John’s work relocated to Marlborough, MA. John’s love for gardening was reflected in his longtime membership with the Worcester Horticultural Society, his participation as a trustee at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, and the many hours he enjoyed tending to his own gardens. During his 41 years at Butcher’s, John joined the Marketing department and retired as the Vice President of Marketing Communication in 1996.
John was an avid reader, joining the Northborough Library, serving on the board of trustees and was involved in the 2009 library renovation. He cherished his volumes of books. John thoroughly enjoyed supporting local businesses and forging friendships with the owners. He frequented Berberian Farms, Festive Breads, Lowes Market, Shattuck Pharmacy, Bigelow Nursery, Bolton Orchards, along with Tower Hill. Family and friends will miss John’s wit, humor and theatrics.
A private remembrance is planned for later this spring. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in John’s memory to the Friends of the Northborough Free Library, 34 Main St. Northborough, MA 01532 or to Phyllis Burns Stoddard Endowment Fund c/o Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, 11 French Drive P.O. Box 598 Boylston, MA 01505-0598, or online at http://www.tower-hillbg.org/index.php/support/donate/make-a-gift1/; To share a memory or leave an online condolence, please visit: www.haysfuneralhome.com