One of the best-known livestock auctioneers in Fermanagh and Tyrone, Mr. Patterson Stewart, died earlier this year.

Patterson, who was particularly well known for his management of Fivemiletown Mart, had been working since the 1960s.

His family have paid tribute to him with the following details about his life, his work and his great loves.

When Patterson left Castletown Primary School he was brought home to help on the farm, which he continued to do until 1966 when he fell ill with Ulcerative Colitis, and was advised to give up farming.

He was encouraged by his older brother, Kelso, to become an auctioneer, and his first auction was at the former Coneywarren Children’s Home, which was to be demolished and a new home built.

In the spring of 1967, he opened an Estate Agent office in George’s Street, Omagh, and remained there until the opportunity arose to rent more spacious premises at No. 25 High Street, which he was able to purchase some time later.

He worked for the owners of Fivemiletown Livestock Mart in 1967, and later took over the running of the mart on Friday, January 21, 1972, managing it for more than 50 years until just before his death.

In September, 1969, he took over the running of Fintona Mart along with Mr. Johnston and Mr. Kelly.

Newtownstewart Mart had been closed for some time when he took it over in March, 1985, and he built up a good sale there for a number of years.

He was proud when the Department of Agriculture appointed him to conduct a two-day Clearance Sale in 1988 at their premises at The Castledillon Estate, Co. Armagh, with stock and crops in one week, and the machinery in a following week.

His interest in farming and the farming community continued throughout his life and this led to him getting a lot of business with land lettings and land and property sales in Tyrone, Fermanagh and Londonderry.

He began to breed pedigree Charolais Cattle in 1979, and was the proud owner of the Male Supreme Champion at the NI Charolais Club Sale in November, 2008.

Patterson also kept a brood mare which produced several foals over the years. When his youngest daughter, Heather, showed an interest in ponies, he spent many happy hours with her at equestrian events across Northern Ireland.

His family said that at heart, Patterson was a farmer, and very family-orientated, and his wife and three daughters were involved in helping on the farm.

He is survived by his wife, Rene, and daughters, Alison (Kenny), Elaine (Colin) and Heather (David).

Outside his business and farm, Patterson’s other interest was the Omagh Cancer Research Committee, where he was a member for more than 30 years. He enjoyed conducting charity auctions for the church and other organisations.

He loved his work and had no intention of retiring, running Fivemiletown Mart just weeks before he passed away.

During his life, Patterson preferred to be around home, although he did enjoy visits to family members in Canada and Australia.

When sudden illness struck in February, he was forced to retire, and he regretted not being able to conduct the last two sales in Fivemiletown Mart.

One customer wrote on Facebook: “He was always a gentleman, and treated everybody the same whether you sold one animal or 10.”

Patterson appreciated the support and help of his loyal customers and staff over the 50-plus years that he ran the mart in Fivemiletown.

His family wish to thank everyone who sent cards, letters and messages of sympathy; attended the wake and funeral; and gave donations in lieu of flowers to Mountjoy Presbyterian Church, Cancer Research NI, and Marie Curie.