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Tributes after petrol station businessman dies

PUBLISHED: 14:00 07 November 2015

Lawrence Steward

Lawrence Steward

Archant

A prominent businessman who has operated petrol stations across Norfolk and Suffolk for more than 40 years has died.

Lawrence Steward (pictured), worked in service petrol stations across Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Swaffham and Brandon.

Mr Steward was the first of three generations of his family to have worked in the industry, followed up by his sons Mark and Ashley during the 1980s and 16-year-old grandson Louis this year.

He died at the age of 72 years old at the James Paget Uniersity Hospital on Sunday, October 11. The cause of death has yet to be ascertained.

His son Mark said: “He was always willing to help people where he could. He was an extremely loving man who gave so much time for his family.

“His main hobby was his work. It was his life, and his love for it passed on to me and my brother Ashley and now to his grandson Louis.

“He will be so sadly missed and will be never ever forgotten.”

Mr Steward was one of six children and met his wife Yvonne, while on leave from the Merchant Navy - they were married in 1966.

In the 1970s, he ventured into petrol filling stations as a licensee. He worked at the Jet Garage on Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth, and then Waveney Gardens and Blindmans Gate in Lowestoft.

From 1986, he opened up sites at Kirkley Run, in Lowestoft, Swaffham, Southtown Road in Great Yarmouth, Finevale in Brandon, and at South Quay in Great Yarmouth.

His sons Mark and Ashley joined him during the 1980s and his grandson Louis joined this year.

Mark said: “He started the whole thing, drove it and organised it up until 2000 when we bought the timber yard. Shortly after this he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and also developing serious spinal problems and his health went downhill as such since that time.

“But whilst not involved in the day to day running, he was always in the background with advice, expertise and this is still relevant in our ongoing projects.

During all this time my mum worked alongisde him, meaning my brother and I were both brought up at petrol stations - you could say we served our apprenticeships growing up. Therefore making our career choice was very easy - we both started on the shop floor and the same principle has been applied to Louis, which he was very proud of.”

Mr Steward’s funeral service will take place at St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston today (Friday, November 6) at 12.20pm. The family have asked for no flowers and for donations to be given to the JPUH NHS Foundation Trust Ward 15.

Mr Steward leaves a widow, Yvonne, children Mark and Ashley, daughters in law Kerry and Emma, and grandchildren Emily, Louis, Benjamin, James and William.

■ Would you like to pay tribute to Lawrence Steward? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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