A vet known to hundreds of pet lovers has died at the age of 74.
Anthony Stuart, known as Tony, passed away at Homelands Nursing Home, Cowfold, on December 11. He had been diagnosed two years ago with “atypical dementia”, which left him mentally alert but later severely affected him physically.
Mr Stuart came from a family of vets and once ran the surgery at Oathall Road, Haywards Heath. He leaves a wife Janet, to whom he had been married for 48 years, and two sons, Luke, from Storrington, and Peter, who lives in Sydney, Australia, neither of whom are vets, and also leaves four grandchildren. His brother Ian moved to the USA many years ago.
Mr Stuart’s grandfather Henry Taylor started a vets surgery in Boltro Road, Haywards Heath in 1906, and his father Kenneth was also a vet.
Mr Stuart qualified in 1961, working in Devon and then Kent, where another vet introduced him to his future wife. He came to work with his father in 1967, living at first in Hurstpierpoint.
Mr and Mrs Stuart then lived over the surgery, later moved to Ashenground Road, Haywards Heath, and six years ago settled in Storrington.
During his successful career he was a vet for the working farm at Oathall Community College, Haywards Heath, and was also vet for the South of England show at Ardingly for many years, as was his father before him.
Despite the demands of the job Mr Stuart found time for his hobbies of photography, fishing, and antiques. Mrs Stuart recalls: “Living over the surgery you were always waiting for the phone to go. Sometimes he got the boys out of bed to help him. They really enjoyed it. It was lovely for them because they realised what their daddy was doing for a living.”
“His grandfather did mostly horse work , while his father did almost all cattle work, and went to the market at Haywards Heath to check the animals. Tony dealt with smaller animals including cats, dogs, herons and badgers.”
Mr Stuart was a former member of the local Round Table, of which he was president for a year, and the 41 Club. A private family-only service will be held tomorrow, and a service of thanksgiving will be held at St Wilfrid’s Church, Haywards Heath on a date to be arranged.