Pictured Above: Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, passed away Thursday, March 8. Photo: Alltech

Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, passed away on Thursday, March 8, because of an acute lung condition that developed during his recovery from heart surgery, according to a statement from the company. 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,” says 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.

“He inspired everyone he met with his energy, enthusiasm and passionate belief in possibilities. He instilled that positivity in his people, more than 5,000 Alltech team members around the world. I am confident I speak on behalf of all of them when I say that we are deeply honored to have known and worked for such a great man. We will resolve to honor his legacy by deepening our commitment to his customers and all the innovative ideas he believed in so strongly.”

Lyons' wife Deirdre will continue in her role as Alltech’s director of corporate image and design global presence, as well as their philanthropic and community involvement.

“We are all deeply saddened by my father’s passing,” says 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.”

Funeral Masses will be March 17 in Lexington, Ky., and in April in Dublin, Ireland. A special celebration of life will be held May 20 at the beginning of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington.

Public visitation will be Friday, March 16 in Lexington. Arrangement details will be kept up to date on alltech.com/pearselyons.