In Memoriam: 2012 Produce Industry Deaths - The Packer

In Memoriam: 2012 Produce Industry Deaths

12/28/2012 10:17:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

Krempel was actively involved with the Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del.

Thomas Rahll Sr.

Thomas Rahll Sr., longtime president of Edward G. Rahll & Sons Inc., is remembered by friends, industry colleagues and family as a valued leader.

Rahll, 71, was the second-generation leadership of the business started by his father, Edward G. Rahll Sr., in 1951.

Thomas Rahll Sr. remained company president until recently and was instrumental in expanding business.

The company has been an active tenant of the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in Jessup, and Rahll played an important role in the market’s construction.

Butch DeBlouw

Butch DeBlouw, president of Michigan vegetable shipper Mike Pirrone Produce Inc., died Aug. 15. He was 49.

DeBlouw was killed in an electrical accident in the company’s packinghouse, said Joe Pirrone, the company’s former owner.

DeBlouw, a co-owner of Mussey-based Pirrone since 1988, and his son Henry bought Joe Pirrone’s shares in the company in May. Pirrone remains at the company as a salesman.

Henry DeBlouw, who became secretary and treasurer after the sale, succeeded his father as president, Pirrone said.

Butch DeBlouw, who grew up on a farm near Mount Clemens, Mich., joined Pirrone in 1985.

Francisco Delamora

Francisco Delamora, owner of fresh produce distributor JDM Transport, was among five people killed when a single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the South Lake Tahoe, Calif., airport, according to a company source.

Joe Andrade, a dispatcher at Fresno, Calif.-based JDM Transport, confirmed the deaths of Delamora, his wife Lorena and 7-year-old daughter Esmeralda. Harold and Kin Cardwell also died in the Aug. 25 crash, he said.

Jimmy Hook

Jimmy Hook, former president of V.B. Hook & Co. Inc., Columbia, S.C., died Sept. 14. He was 85.

Hook was the second generation to work for the company his father, Bill Hook, founded in 1928.

The younger Hook worked in the family wholesaling business as a child and started full time in 1947 after graduating from college and serving in Japan during the occupation in World War II.

He was known for his integrity, said son Marty Hook, president.

“We have had the highest credit rating you can possess continuously for well over 50 years,” Hook said. “It was his honesty, integrity and his business values. He was well-respected in the industry and had a great reputation. His legacy will be hard to follow.”

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