Alphonse Stroobants of Forest, died Thursday, July 1, 2010. He was 78. Mr. Stroobants was born Wednesday, Oct. 21, 1931, in Chatelineau, Belgium, a son of the late Jean Baptaste Stroobants and Ida Clementine DeWind Stroobants. Al graduated with distinction in 1948 from College Technique de Charleroi. He came to the United States in 1954 through a student exchange program and began working for Ford Motor Company in 1956. He came to Lynchburg in 1959 to work a tool and die job. In 1962, he founded Belvac, formerly Belgium Tool and Die, and served as president and CEO until 1990. As the owner of Northcote Farm, Al was named the #1 Black Angus breeder in the world. Known extensively for his business leadership, Mr. Stroobants has received awards too numerous to mention, but was proudest of the State Small Business Award given to him by the USA Small Business Administration. He was a member of the Virginia Angus Association Board of Directors and the Ut Prosim Society of Virginia Tech and was the founder and chairman of the Al Stroobants Foundation. His compassion and philanthropy were far-reaching. Having received excellent care during cardiac bypass surgery, Al created a trust for cardiology services at Lynchburg General Hospital, which was named in his honor, The Stroobants Heart Center of Virginia. He loved his home in Bedford County and donated both money and land for several projects throughout the years to improve fire and rescue services as well as expand business and recreation. He was preceded in death by a sister. He is survived by his cherished wife, Maria “Mary” Hanackova-Stroobants. The family would like to thank Al’s most special friends who meant so much to him: Carl Milko, Mark Maslow, Louann Burford, Rodger and Ann Fauber, Buzzy and Martha Ann Coleman, and JoAnn and Roger Stoudt, for their visits, care, support and friendship. The family will receive friends from 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 7, 2010, at Northcote Angus Farm. A celebration of Al’s life will follow at 11 a.m., with Fr. Stephen McNally officiating. A private interment will be in the Stroobants Family Mausoleum. A reception will take place after the interment. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Holy Cross Catholic School, 2125 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg, VA 24501, or Bridges Treatment Center, 693 Leesville Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, (434) 237-9424. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting http://www.tharpfuneralhome.com.
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