Stuart Kittinger Alford, 46, of Summit NJ, passed away much too soon on Friday, December 23, 2022 with his loving wife sitting vigilantly by his side after fighting a 4 year courageous battle with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Stuart was an amazing husband, enthusiastic father who adored his children, doting son, brother and uncle, and was loved by all that met him. Stuart was absolutely one of a kind, a gentle soul that was as loyal as loyal could be. He smiled with his eyes and his laugh was contagious, he lit up every room he was in. Stuart was without a doubt one of the bravest humans to ever walk the earth and did not complain one single day after his devastating diagnosis. He often quoted something a good friend’s mom once said, remarking, “you only get dealt one hand in life, so don’t complain about it and start playing it. This has remained front and center in my mind”. His mantra was a testament to the man he was, he confronted his diagnosis head on with the utmost dignity and grace.
Stuart was born on July 18, 1976 in Morristown, NJ to parents Bryant and Susanne Alford and loving brother to Jonathan Alford. Stuart grew up in Summit and spent every summer of his youth at his favorite place in the world, Point O’ Woods, a summer beach community on Fire Island, NY. He also spent many summers at his family’s cabin in Ontario, Canada called “Longhouse”, he became an expert of lake life and loved to soak in the beautiful nature that surrounded him while creating endless memories with his family. Stuart’s time spent at Point O’Woods and Longhouse was forever engrained in who he was, and remained a treasured part of him his whole life. He attended The Pingry School where he forged many lifelong friendships. Stuart was a star athlete that played various sports in his life excelling in soccer, lacrosse and especially hockey. After Stuart graduated from The Pingry School in 1995, he went on to study History at Lafayette College and played Division 1 Lacrosse. Following his graduation from Lafayette in 1999, he spent the summer traveling throughout Europe with his best friends Pete Blanchard, Jamie Newhouse and Eli Weinberg. After an amazing summer trip abroad, Stuart started his first job at Guy Carpenter & Co. in New York at 2 World Trade Center as a reinsurance broker, kick starting an almost 23 year career in the reinsurance industry. While at Guy Carpenter, Stuart was one of the lucky ones to survive the September 11th World Trade Center attack. Stuart spent the majority of his professional career at Transatlantic Reinsurance company where he thrived both professionally and personally. Stuart genuinely loved working at Trans Re and attributed much of his professional and emotional success to his colleagues and especially the professional liability team that he considered his family.
In 2000, Stuart met the love of his life Jennifer in New York. Stuart and Jennifer went on to get married in 2004, followed by an amazing honey moon in Nevis West Indies. They enjoyed six married years traveling and spending time devoted to each other before they had their first child in 2010. He and Jennifer’s three children, Sloane (12), Reed (10) and Gibson (4) were his greatest source of pride and joy. Stuart was the center of his wife and children’s universe and life will not be the same without him.
Stuart enjoyed every aspect of life, but was especially a lover of all things sports related and music. He was an avid New York Rangers and Buffalo Bills fan. His taste in music was exceptional, with some of his favorites being the Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones (the list goes on and on). Stuart was the go to guy for music selections.
Stuart is survived by his wife of 18 wonderful years, Jennifer, and their three young children, Sloane, Reed and Gibson. Additionally, he is survived by his loving parents Susie and Bryant and devoted brother Jonathan Alford and his wife, Hilary, of Southborough, MA. Stuart was adored by his in-laws, Bernard and Mary Ann Smith, brother in-law Bernard Smith and his wife Stacy as well as his sister in-law Kellie and her husband Matthew Lloyd also of Summit and was a favorite uncle to Zach, Hannah, Henry, Libby, Sutton, Finn and Lochlan. Stuart’s mother in law, Mary Ann predeceased him in 2021. He is also survived by endless, countless friends and family, that have been forever touched by the incredible irreplaceable guy that was Stuart.
Although we are not absolutely certain what happens when we pass away, what we do know without a doubt is that the people that are left on earth that love us will miss us very, very, very much. We will miss Stuart more than words can describe and will keep him in our hearts and memory forever and ever.