A life well lived in service to others, Dr. Alan J. Stolz dies at 89.
January 30, 2021
Dr. Alan J. Stolz, born in 1931 in New York City but chose to live the greater part of his life in the town of Westport, CT until his passing from COVID-19. A vibrant part of the community, he was actively involved in many organizations, charities and associations, but each one had one common characteristic, they were all for benefit of others.
Stolz graduated from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1953 and remained a loyal and active alumnus, participating in alumni events, fundraisers and reunions, returning to the college for his 50th reunion. At the “Big Bash 2018 Chapel Sing” he will long be remembered for belting out the “Old Wabash” fight song. Stolz received an honorary doctorate from London University for his work in promoting international student exchange.
As a founder of Westport EMS (WVEMS) he went on to become a Crew Chief and a certified EMS Instructor. At the same time, he continued in this line of service with the American Red Cross as both a volunteer and an instructor in CT and NH.
Recognized often for his work in service to others, Stolz received many awards throughout his career, from U.S. Presidents to State and local government agencies and organizations; very often on behalf of the organization he was representing. In 2005 he received the
Fairfield CT County Hero Award for saving a life.
Stolz’s dedication to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) kept him well occupied in Westport for more than six decades. In that time, he founded both Pack 38 (Coleytown Elementary School) and Troop 100, sponsored by Christ & Holy Trinity Church. In 1970, he was the troop’s first Scoutmaster. He was awarded the CT State Legislature Citation for 65 years of service to the BSA. Stolz was himself an Eagle Scout; an accomplishment he was extremely proud of and always encouraged scouts to achieve this rank.
To carry on his tradition of teaching and encouraging students to learn the history of our country he participated in Veteran’s Day at Bedford
Jr. High School, Westport. His presentations always included stories so the students could relate and remember. This apparently worked as the hundreds of thank you notes he received from the students was testimony of their gratitude to him for making history come alive. They enjoyed his sense of humor in making the day memorable.
While in the U.S. Army, EOD, (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) he founded a boy scout troop for the children of military officers stationed at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois. Stolz was honorably discharged from the Army in 1957.
After his discharge he became Owner/Director of Camp Cody in Freedom, New Hampshire; a position he enjoyed for over 50 years. He led by teaching campers and staff how to survive and enjoy the outdoors while learning living skills that can still be applied today. Stolz was still receiving letters from past campers and staff remembering everything he taught them and the camaraderie that they gained from camp. He was extremely active in promoting, not only his camp, but all camps and the unique opportunities camps offered for the growth, wellbeing and independence for children of all ages.
Stolz was a firm believer in including international participants as camp counselors. He was among the first Camp Directors to join in the UK recruitment of staff. By introducing international staff to American children in a camp environment their view of the world would be increased, an opportunity not readily available for all.
He was a three-term president of the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association and a Justice of the Peace (NH). Conducting many weddings in NH was one of his greatest pleasures.
As a part of the American Camp Association (ACA) Stolz was a member of the Pioneers of Camping which acknowledges individuals with 30+ years as a camp professional. He received the Speedy Altman Award (2003) which recognizes individuals for their contribution to the private camp movement throughout North America. Stolz also served as National Vice President for ACA and as their Legislative Chairman in the 1980’s. As Chairman he traveled many times to Washington DC to testify on the importance of children’s camps and the role it played in their lives. In addition, he was Chairman of Public Information for ACA, a Charter Member of ACA’s Acorn Society, founded 1984, and a lifetime member of the ACA. He volunteered for many years as a Standards Visitor to camps as part of the ACA accreditation process.
As a Rotarian he received the Paul Harris Community Service Award, named for the founder of Rotary International and is presented to anyone in the world who exemplified the Rotary ideal of “service before self”. Stolz was active in the can tab collection for the Shriner’s Burn Hospital for Children. The tabs were collected, recycled into aluminum sheets and sold. The profits went to the Shriner’s Hospital so no child would incur any expense for treatment.
Stolz, with his wife Gail, traveled extensively which afforded him the opportunity to pursue his photographic skills, begun at Wabash College by photographing sports events and progressing to portraits and eventually to specializing in plants, animals and flowers.
Stolz was a member of Westport Y”s Men, the American Legion, a board member of the Judaica Museum at the Hebrew Home, Riverdale, NY, and a marine biology volunteer instructor at the Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk, CT.
Stolz is survived by his wife, Gail (Leopold), two stepchildren Matthew Leopold (Tamara), Jacki Leopold Butler (pre-deceased by Jeffrey) and pre-deceased by Bryan Leopold (Randi), a sister Eleanor Greenfield (Sidney) and brother-in-law Stephen Blume (Mary Ann) and two children from a previous marriage Maryann Ross Levanti (Stephen) and Gary Stolz. He is also survived by a great grandchild, many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.