Stuart David Byers
Stuart David Byers died peacefully after a brief battle with cancer at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Sept. 28, 2003. He was 67.
He was the dear husband of Jean (nee Smith) for 47 years, and loving father to Lezlee (Howard Smith), Patricia (Bill Fyke), Colleen, and David (Nathalie).
“Poppy” will be sadly missed by grandchildren Scott, Paige, Shelby, Emily and Kendrew.
He was born on April 20, 1936, the beloved son of Dorothy (nee Stuart) and the late Dobie Byers.
He is survived by sisters Freda (late Peter Arnott), Eleanor (late Donnie Dingwall), Eunice (Don Johnston) and Connie (Dwayne Froats); and brothers Archie (Marion), Linden (Beth) and Edsel (Gail).
He was a well known and respected businessman, both locally and afar, with a career that started in electronics in 1957. He then went on to take over his father’s construction company, Byers Construction, building all types of structures including several ice-hockey arenas and countless dairy barns across eastern Ontario, while also managing to establish a retail hardware store and lumberyard in Chesterville. Around the same time, he began Byers Farm Equipment to serve the needs of the surrounding farm community. The business continues today under the management of daughter Lezlee.
Always seeking new business opportunities, he founded Crophandler Canada Ltd. in 1978. The company manufactured and erected sealed, glass-fused steel silos throughout Ontario and internationally as well. Over the years, the company evolved to become Alstor Canada Ltd., specializing in the fabrication and erection of large industrial stainless-steel tanks.
He chose to move the head office and shipping facilities to Chesterville in 1999. An international branch had already been established with offices and construction facilities in Wisconsin and Maryland. Jean and son David will continue to manage Alstor Canada.
Always the visionary and innovator, he developed and incorporated several unique engineering elements into the design, development and construction of large diameter stainless-steel tanks, many of which he patented.
His love of gardening and his “special raspberry canes” gave him hours of pleasure, as did his devotion to his grandchildren and his love of “old fashioned” family gatherings on special occasions and festive holiday times. He loved county music, especially Hank Williams. He was a big NASCAR fan and Dale Ernhart was his hero. He loved life and all it had to offer, believing there was little time to be idle. “Hurry every chance you get,” was one of his favorite expressions, and it also guided his own approach to life and to his business undertakings.
His always cheerful disposition, larger-than-life smile and positive attitude were infectious. There was never an impossible situation in his opinion, only those that needed extra effort to make possible. He firmly believed there was always good in every person, even at times when others thought differently.
He was a special person to many people. He will be sadly missed by Jean and family, many friends and business associates and especially by his grandchildren, whom he loved and enjoyed special times with.
The family received friends at the Chesterville Funeral Home on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The funeral was held at the Chesterville Trinity United Church on Oct. 1. Cremation and interment were on Oct. 4 at Maple Ridge Cemetery.