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The Dartmouth
May 28, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

‘He exuded joy and love for others’: Stuart Wilkie remembered for kindness and generosity

Wilkie, who died in February at the age of 60, worked for five years as part of the College’s Family Giving and Engagement team.

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Parents and Grandparents Fund managing director Stuart Wilkie is remembered for being the “best of the best” by his partner of 14 years, Otis Irvine. 

“He was an amazing person who was always there to help in any way possible,” Irvine said. 

Wilkie died unexpectedly at the age of 60 on Feb. 14, 2024. He is survived by Irvine, his brother Steven Wilkie and his three nephews, according to his online obituary. 

While Stuart lived most of his life in Cornish Flat, N.H., he lived in New Haven, Conn. while attending Yale University. After completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985, he moved back to Cornish Flat.

Before working at Dartmouth, Wilkie ran an interior design consulting company and worked for Southern New England Telecom. He also worked at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, where he oversaw the surgery supply needs, according to the President’s Office.   

He started working at the College as the Department Coordinator for Leadership Giving in May 2019, according to a statement by Ann Root Keith on the President’s Office “In Memoriam” page.   

In his most recent role as the managing director of the Parents and Grandparents Fund, Wilkie is remembered as being “one of a kind” by his friend and colleague Catherine Weber, the Director of Family Giving and Engagement.

“He exuded joy and love for others,” Weber said. “He always put others first.”

Outside of work, Wilkie enjoyed a wide range of hobbies, from cooking to gardening to traveling. According to Weber, Wilkie was involved with LGBTQ+ efforts on campus as well as mentoring through Dartmouth’s First Generation Office. 

Though Wilkie had lots of pride for his alma mater, Yale, Irvine said that he loved working at Dartmouth.

“Ever since Stuart started working at Dartmouth, his favorite color automatically was green,” Irvine said.

Irvine recalled that he once asked Wilkie if he would continue working for the Parents and Grandparents Fund “if [he] won the lottery.” According to Irvine, Wilkie replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!”

Wilkie first joined the Family Giving and Engagement team in 2022, according to the President’s Office. Before that, he worked as the associate director in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Advancement.

Wilkie engaged both Dartmouth and Yale alumni to give back to their respective communities. He organized fundraising efforts in his role with the Parents and Grandparents Fund and also served as reunion co-chair of the Yale Class of 1985, according to the President’s Office.

Over the about five years that Wilkie worked at Dartmouth, he is remembered by his colleagues for his collaborative and kind nature. Weber said that Wilkie was “humble,” and that he “never acted like he was smarter than anyone else … but he was.”

“He had the most incredible network of people,” Weber said. “You could say, ‘Hey Stuart, I think I’m interested in planting blueberries,’ and he’d be like, ‘Oh, I have a friend who runs a blueberry farm!’ He just had this immense network of friends he gathered and stayed in touch with. It wasn’t just acquaintances. He knew and cared about everyone.”

Marc Jacques, Coordinator of Family Giving and Engagement, agreed.

“As a colleague, he was unparalleled because he was so intelligent, charming and kind,” Jacques said. “He always had a smile on his face.”

Weber fondly remembered Wilkie’s sense of humor.

“Stuart was fun,” Weber said. “I remember coming to one of our events, and Stuart was just dressed in this outrageous, green outfit. He wasn’t afraid to have fun and to show it.”

Irvine also spoke fondly of Wilkie’s lively personality, which was evident from the day they met.

“We met at an amazing party he threw,” Irvine said. “He enjoyed designing and creating. He threw this incredible dinner party. From the food to the champagne glasses — it was over the top!” 

According to Irvine, traveling was one of Wilkie’s favorite pastimes. Because Irvine has close ties to Trinidad, the pair often traveled to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Irvine and Wilkie also often visited Cape Cod, Mass. together. According to his online obituary, one of Wilkie’s favorite destinations was Rome. 

In reflecting on the legacy that Wilkie leaves at Dartmouth and beyond, Weber said that it was one of thoughtfulness toward others.

“People who knew Stuart — whether they had met him once, or had known him for years — were touched by him because he cared for people,” Weber said.

According to his online obituary, a memorial service will be held for Wilkie on March 9 at 10 a.m. at the Meriden Congregational Church in Meriden, New Hampshire.