ANDOVER: Donald S. Stidsen of Andover, died suddenly on October 28. Adored husband of Kate McHugh and cherished father of Lizzie and Hannah McHugh Stidsen of Andover, Don was born in Worcester, son of the late Andrew H. Stidsen and Isabelle M. Stidsen. He was the brother of Andrew M. Stidsen of East Dennis, Gregory Stidsen of Andover, and Susan Nerkowski of Shrewsbury. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Don began his career at the MIT Museum in 1982 as one of its earliest employees; he remained a key person in the expansion of its gallery spaces throughout three decades. Before MIT. He worked at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, N.Y., where he met his soon-to-be-bride Kate; and the Dickson Mounds Museum, in Lewistown, Ill. He held a BFA from UMass Dartmouth in photography, and a MA in public visual communications from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
As exhibition manager of the MIT Museum, Don was responsible for more than 300 exhibits, including works by renowned artists, engineers and designers that were made meaningful to the museum’s visitors by Don’s considerable talents in lighting design, use of color and exhibit installation. His greatest gift was the live-saving organ donation he gave his daughter. This act led Don to volunteer for many years at Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families in Casco, Maine, returning the support his family received. Don was a patient listener, a quick wit, and a keen observer who recognized the sublime in simple things.
A Celebration of Don’s life will be held at The North Parish of North Andover Unitarian Universalist Church, 190 Academy Road, North Andover, on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Sunshine, 35 Acadia Rd, Casco, ME 04015. To leave online condolences, please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com.
Published on  November 12, 2015