In Memoriam: Longtime CCAD Industrial Design Leader Bernie Stockwell

Graduates from Columbus College of Art & Design’s Industrial Design and Interior Design programs have gone on to start their own businesses and work at big-name companies like Dell, Fisher-Price, WD Partners and Whirlpool.

But that wouldn’t have been possible without Bernard Stockwell, who is credited with shaping the college’s industrial and interior design programs.

“Bernie was instrumental in building programs that thousands of students have graduated from,” said Tom Gattis, Dean of CCAD’s School of Design Arts, which includes Industrial Design. “That’s a pretty big legacy — for all those students to have successful careers because of an idea he had many, many years ago.” 

Stockwell died on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, at 6:04 a.m. He was 90 years old.

Born in 1926, Stockwell grew up in Delaware County near Sunbury, Ohio, and went on to serve as Dean of the CCAD Industrial and Interior Design departments from March 1, 1955, until his retirement on July 1, 1991.

Stockwell wasn’t the only one in his family with ties to the college, though.

His wife, Rachel, was the author of CCAD’s centennial history, CCAD, The First 100 Years. Their daughter, Laurinda Stockwell graduated from CCAD in 1979, and their son, David Stockwell, has worked at CCAD for decades, now serving as Director of Special Projects.

And Stockwell’s mother, Mable Wagner Stockwell, studied at CCAD in the early 1900s when it was called the Columbus Art School.

Stockwell himself briefly attended the Columbus Art School in 1947 and 1948. But there wasn’t an industrial design program then, so Stockwell went on to Pratt to earn his degree and returned in 1955 to head up what was then a fledging industrial design program at the Columbus Art School. He served as Dean of Industrial Design from 1955 to 1991 and won the CCAD Alumni Award for Excellence in 1987.

“Bernie Stockwell has been instrumental in shaping the CCAD’s divisions of interior and industrial design,” the late CCAD President Joseph V. Canzani said in a 1991 article announcing Stockwell’s retirement. “Under his guidance, the industrial/interior design program has grown from a handful of classes into a division with 5 full-time faculty members and 6 part-time faculty members, offering two majors to more than 100 students.”

He is survived by his wife Rachel (Nincehelser) Stockwell, son David Stockwell, daughters Laurinda Stockwell and Amy Stockwell, and granddaughter Amanda Stockwell.

Friends may call Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home in Sunbury one hour prior to the 2 p.m. memorial service. Following the service, there will be a reception at the Medallion Country Club in Westerville.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Bernard R. Stockwell Industrial Design Scholarship Fund, established in 2006 by David and Laurinda Stockwell in honor of their father’s birthday. The Bernard R. Stockwell Industrial Design Scholarship is awarded to one industrial design student each year.