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Wilbur Lee Stadele, 82

Businessman, organ designer

1938 - 2020


Wilbur Lee Stadele, 82 of Belle Mead died on December 26 due to complications from cancer. Lee died peacefully with family by his side.

Lee was born on October 28, 1938 in Somerville to Mabel and Wilber Stadele, and grew up in Middlesex. He attended The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Plainfield and went on to Brown University, where he wrote for the Brown Daily Herald and made many of his fondest memories.


Like his father and grandfather before him, Lee followed his love of music into the church organ industry.


In his lifetime, he installed more than 2,500 organs for churches, homes, and events. One of his proudest career highlights was setting up the organ for Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium.


When not designing and installing organs, Lee loved restoring antique furniture, collecting art, and making improvements to his historic farm.


He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Mary Maxine Stadele, who meant the world to him.


Lee is survived by his sister Marjorie Aamodt; his children: Lee Stadele (son), and his children Julia Macchione, Emma Stadele, and Laura Stadele; Kurt (son) and Sarah Stadele, and their children Kyle and Cameron; Karen (daughter) and Monte Riddle, and their children Evan, Zoey and Isabelle; Marjorie Bedford (daughter) and Henry King; William (son) and Cynthia Venizelos, and their children Will and Virginia; and Owen (son) and Elizabeth Stadele and their children Sullivan and Weston; and great-grandchildren Sadie and Barrett.


The family will receive visitors at Kimble Funeral Home in Princeton on Monday, January 25, from 9 to 11am, followed by funeral services at 11am. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.■

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