A STALWART businessman who made "an enormous contribution to the local economy" has died at the age of 89.

Don Evans, who died on October 4, was the former managing director of a Stourport ceramics firm and lived in Bewdley for 50 years.

Originally from Port Talbot in Wales, Mr Evans studied for a degree and PhD in Chemistry at Durham University’s Kings College in Newcastle. Whilst at University he met and married Jean and they were together for over 65 years.

In 1968, they moved to Bewdley when he joined Steatite and Porcelain in Stourport, which later became Morgan Matroc, as technical director and eventually managing director.

In the 1980s he was an active participant in the Confederation of British Industry as member of the West Midland Regional Council and chairman of the Hereford and Worcester region.

His former colleague Jim Panter said: “Don made an enormous contribution to the local economy through his shrewd and tenacious leadership of the Stourport headquartered Morgan Matroc, which emerged from the ‘Steatite’ during the 1980’s.

"Under his stewardship it became a world leader in Ceramics for high tech applications. His vision and tenacity led to profitable growth and acquisitions throughout the world developing a highly regarded international profile.

"Many young managers benefited from his forward-thinking and empowering management techniques in a company which has provided secure and rewarding employment for generations of Stourport families. For his visionary leadership they have a lot to thank him for”

After retiring from Morgan Matroc, Don consulted for a company in Rhode Island USA. In his spare time Don was a keen fisherman and gardener and member of the Royal Horticultural Society.

He is survived by his wife Jean and daughter Kay and grandchildren Joe, Megan, Billy, Huw and Henry.