NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Jamaican hotelier and business mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart died in hospital yesterday.
Stewart, the founder of Sandals Resorts International, ATL Group and The Jamaica Observer, died at 79.
His death was confirmed in an internal memorandum issued to managers of the Sandals group by his son, Sandals Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart.
Adam Stewart acknowledged the death seemed unbelievable, noting his father chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private.
He said his father will be missed forever.
“The Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, OJ, a distinction he was so proud of, was a gifted entrepreneur,” Stewart said.
“He was a marketing genius and talented showman, but those who knew him best recognized that he was a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone. It was often said: ‘the best thing for people around him to do is be dream catchers.’”
“Together, we have all been part of something bigger than ourselves, led by a man who believed in us and who gave us opportunities to learn, grow and the tools to make dreams real.”
Stewart said: “For him and because of him, we will continue to dream big and deliver on his certainty that true luxury is always best enjoyed by the sea. My dad lived a big life — husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer.
“A singular personality and an unstoppable force who reveled in defying the odds, exceeding expectations and whose passion for his family was matched only by the people and possibility of the Caribbean, for whom he was a fierce champion.
“There will never be another quite like him and we will miss him forever.”