WICHITA — Longtime Wichita businessman Pat Ayars died Wednesday morning following complications from cancer.
“He was an eternal optimist, so regardless of how awful he might have felt, he put a smile on his face,” said Coryanne Graham, marketing and brand manager at Oxford Senior Living, which Ayars co-founded in 2010.
“This is something that Pat has been dealing with for a number of months and had no reason to believe it wasn’t going to come to a good conclusion,” Graham said.
“He’d say … ‘I’m going to get better. We’re going to do this. We’re going to do that.’”
Ayars, who would have turned 56 on Friday, was Oxford’s president.
“In recent months, Pat had positioned the company to transition his responsibilities so that his vision for Oxford would continue long after he was gone,” chief operating officer Jason Wiley said in a statement.
“He ensured this company would never hinge on just one person, but no one could ever fill his shoes fully. Pat was a tremendous motivator and visionary.”