Mr Edwin Stallard, Danville House who has died was in life a multi-talented innovator and farmer. Inheriting Danville House from his father John (Jack) Stallard, it became his base but more than that, a launch pad for a career spanning many achievements while allowing him to develop other interests in addition to extensive commercial and business activities.
He was a member of the Stallard Family which ran Kilkenny Theatre from 1933 until closing its doors in 1962. It might have been expected that he would develop a liking for amateur dramatics but he turned his attentions to other activities.
The late Mr Stallard was a life long enthusiastic angler and served as President of the local angling club for many years. His well known patience which he was to display to excellent effect on many occasions in business might well be attributited to his love of this sport in which the capacity to wait silently is often important. As a young man he often went fishing with his father and their near neighbour Tom Maloney whose house they passed on the way to the River Nore. This habit was to lead to his ‘greatest catch’ in that it led to him meeting and winning the hand of Tom’s daughter, Kitty. Kitty and Edwin celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary only last September.
His prowess as an innovative farmer was recognised with his appointment as a Director to the board of Glanbia Plc. a position he held for a number of years being involved with the development of this major organisation rooted in Kilkenny but whose activates and more that 4,500 employers are to be found in many over seas countries. Members of Glanbia formed an honour guard during his removal from Danville house on his last journey.
Edwin Stallard with Pat Nolan and the late Martin Mulhall were among the founders of Kilkenny Flying and Gliding Club. They subsequently bought the land on which it was based and formed Kilkenny Airport Limited which with strong County Council backing set about developing the facility. He trained as a pilot and having secured his own “wings” went on to secure an instructor’s rating and passed on the pleasure of flying to many others over the years. Recognising his contribution, members of the flying club provided a guard of honour during his reception at Saint Patrick’s Church before his funeral mass.
Following an invitation Edwin became deeply involved with Kilkenny Social Services a network of people-centred support activities perhaps unequalled in any other town in Ireland. For many years he provided vegetables with out charge for their innovative Meals-on-Wheels programme. He was elected Chairman of the Social Services and served in that position for more than twenty years and continued as Honorary Chairman until his recent death.
He loved to travel and was even known to arrive home and surprise Kitty with tickets already secured for a trip to many interesting and worthwhile destination. One such significant visit was to Rome in 1999 during which they had the pleasure and honour of being received by Pope John Paul II in recognition of his years of involvement in the Social Service movement. On another occasion they visited the Holy Land.
When he retired from farming he revived his interest in gardening, a passion he had earlier shared with his father John who was a trained and qualified gardener. The wonderful walled garden in Danville House was transformed into a sea of fresh and inviting vegetables.
In his later years Edwin was also a valued member of PROBUS and enjoyed their fortnightly meetings in the Club House Hotel. His fellow members flanked the hearse during his funeral from Saint Patrick’s Church to Foulkstown Cemetery where he now lies with his parents and his brother Tom who died some years ago.
But it is especially as a family man Edwin will be remembered; a loving husband to Kitty a proud father to John, Paul in Australia , Edwina, Peter now living in Cambridge, England and Dan who with his wife Barbara run Danville House today. Barbara who is gifted with a fine soprano voice sang at his funeral and received a rapturous applause at the conclusion.
Edwin’s family was always central to him. Their successes in life brought him the greatest satisfaction while his 15 grandchildren too were a wonderful source of joy and pleasure to him. To his widow Kitty, their children and grandchildren the deepest sympathy is extended on the passing of a fine Christian Gentleman.