The mic now silent for local radio legend

The mic now silent for local radio legend
The mic now silent for local radio legend | Stewart "Stewman" Byars, "Club Country"

Stewart “Stewman” Byars
Beloved radio host Stewart “Stewman” Byars lost his fight with cancer this weekend. The former morning host of Stewman in the Morning and the Breakfast Flakes passed away Saturday after a year-long battle against the deadly disease. Byars was born in Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1960 but lived most of his life in Tennessee. Byars was also a popular stand-up comedian on the southeastern comedy circuit, and he played several comedy clubs, colleges and corporate events. Byars also cohosted “Club Country” on WLJT with his brother Rick Byars. The show played successfully on stations across the country and in Mexico. But it was radio where the funny man flourished for more than two decades. Byars tied himself for first place in 2004 in production for two national awards and also won a second place award in the Radio and Production Awards on the national level. Byars moved briefly to work at Clear Channel in Memphis, but decided to return to northwest Tennessee where he resumed working at Thunderbolt Broadcasting and was promoted to Operations Manager of the Union City radio stations KYTN 104.9 and The Cool Duck 105.7. Last summer, he was diagnosed with cancer and has spent the past year undergoing chemotherapy. He also was named honorary chairman at the 2008 Relay for Life event. A benefit was held in January by the “Friends of the Stewman” although at the time of the event, Byars was too ill to attend. He did attend a Survivor’s dinner for Relay for Life and spoke about his life with cancer. The one thing that Byars loved the most was making people laugh. In an interview earlier this year, he said that one issue was the thing he missed the most. “I love hearing people laugh,” he said. “That’s been the hardest part.” Byars died Saturday morning at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City. He is survived by his wife Ginger, his daughter Brandi, his son Michael and his two step-sons James Jason Dowland and Stuart Clint Dowland. He is also survived by his grandchildren Alexander Duncan and Sonora Ascensio, brothers David Byars and Steve Byars and his sisters Beverly Molands and Cathy Reynolds. Memorial service will be held this afternoon (Tuesday) at 1 p.m. at White-Ranson Funeral Home in Union City.

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