It is with great sadness that Alltech announces the passing of its founder and president, Dr. Pearse Lyons. Lyons died on Thursday, March 8, due to an acute lung condition that developed during his recovery from heart surgery. He was 73.
“The thoughts of our entire Alltech family around the world are with Dr. Lyons’ family, specifically his wife Deirdre, daughter Aoife, son Mark and Mark’s wife Holly,” said Alric Blake, CEO and treasurer of Alltech.
“Dr. Lyons was a visionary entrepreneur who transformed the agriculture industry beginning with his innovative application of yeast technology in animal nutrition. From farm to field, from market to family dinner table, our world is immeasurably better because he was a man who never saw problems, only a challenge that had not yet been solved,” continues Blake.
Irish by birth, Dr. Lyons founded Alltech in Lexington, Kentucky in 1980, working out of his garage at the start. His work in brewing led to research on yeast, animal health and nutrition, and finally to Bourbon.
”He was a pioneer in many disciplines. For him to have brought distilling back to Lexington after a 50+ year absence, is the definition of being a trailblazer,” remembers Bob Eidson, co-founder of The Bourbon Review.
“We are all deeply saddened by my father’s passing,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, Pearse’s son and chairman and president of Alltech. “He always focused on developing people, and he built an extraordinary team over the years. I know he had full confidence in his team to continue growing the company he built.
“He saw farther into the horizon than anyone in the industry, and we, as his team, are committed to delivering on the future he envisioned. He planted seeds that will produce a bountiful harvest for the world in the years to come.”
Dr. Lyons’ family are deeply appreciative of the many prayers and well wishes they have received from friends around the world. At this time, they kindly ask that any expressions of sympathy, including memories and tributes, be shared at alltech.com.
”He was larger than life,” recalls Seth Thompson, publisher of The Bourbon Review. “He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.”
In lieu of flowers, the family is encouraging donations to the Alltech ACE Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that funds a variety of philanthropic endeavours around the world from disaster relief to primary schools in Haiti. Donations may be made here.
Funeral masses will be in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, on March 17 and in Dublin, Ireland, in April. A special celebration of life will be held on May 20 at the beginning of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington.
Public visitation in Lexington will be on Friday, March 16. Arrangement details can be found here as they are determined.