Former Chairman and Owner of Detyens Shipyards Passes at 72

Loy Stewart Sr. of Detyens Shipyards

Published Jul 2, 2020 10:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

David Loy Stewart Sr, 72, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, the former owner and chairman of Detyens Shipyards, passed away on Tuesday, June 30.

Loy was born September 15, 1947 in Abbeville, South Carolina. He graduated from Furman University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, and he enlisted in the United States Navy shortly after his graduation. 

Loy was fond of saying that "there are three ways to get ahead in life: 1. right place at the right time 2. know the right person or 3. marry the boss's daughter." He chose the third option. In 1973, Loy went to work for his father-in law at Detyens Shipyards as a machinist helper. By 1982 he had risen to the position of secretary/treasurer of the shipyard. In 1990, he bought the shipyard from his partner and began driving the business to success, moving its location in 1995 to the Charleston Naval Shipyard and turning a small family owned business into one of the premier ship repair facilities on the East Coast.

Diagnosed with ALS in the early 2000s, he never missed going to the office and mentoring or helping those in need of advice. He touched countless lives and businesses, and he is remembered for the opening of the Detyens Medical Center to serve the health care needs of his employees.

After his diagnosis with ALS, Loy set out on a personal battle to beat the disease and to find a cure. Loy helped to develop the South Carolina ALS Foundation, and in 2017 The Loy Stewart Foundation for ALS Research donated $2 million to the Roper St. Francis Foundation to establish a research center dedicated to studying and finding a cure for ALS. Roper St. Francis established The Loy Stewart and George C. Wendt Institute for ALS Research and continues to research ways to treat ALS.

He is survived by stepmother, Helen J. Stewart; three sons, David Loy Stewart, Jr. (Sharon), William Jason Stewart (Michelle) and Jonathan Gregg Stewart (Kristin), all of Mt. Pleasant, SC; brother, John Gregg Stewart of Mt. Pleasant and seven grandsons.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Loy Stewart and George C. Wendt Institute for ALS Research at https://www.rsfhfoundation.org/donate-now/als-research.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.