In Memoriam: 2012 Produce Industry Deaths - The Packer

In Memoriam: 2012 Produce Industry Deaths

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

Douglas Bernard

Douglas Bernard, a chili pepper importer, died Oct. 24 in Miami. He was 69.

Since 1995, Bernard was president of Tropical Commodities, which imports and distributes chili peppers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Bernard worked in the 1990s as sales manager of PFM International Inc., Miami. Also in the 1990s, he worked for an airline that served the Caribbean on a project to import fresh produce.

Joseph Anthony Melara

Joseph Anthony Melara, owner of King and Raphael Toronto Ltd., died Oct. 26. He was 79.

Melara had a long and successful career in wholesale produce at the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto. He was a founding director of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association in 1991 and served on its board of directors for many years. From the 1980s to the mid-1990s, he also was a director, president and chairman on the board of directors of The Toronto Wholesale Produce Association.

Robert Bol

Robert “Dutch” Bol, a former sales manager for The Oppenheimer Group, died Oct. 2. He was 49.

Bol died of a heart attack in his sleep, said Rick Eastes, vice president and general manager of Seald Sweet West International Inc., Dinuba, Calif.

Eastes hired Bol at Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer in 1986 after Bol served an internship at the company. Bol worked in Oppenheimer’s Los Angeles office, handling South American imports. In 1991 he moved to Visalia when the company opened an office there. He lived in Visalia until his death.

Eastes said Bol was a bigger-than-life figure — he stood 6’6” and weighed 250 pounds — who earned the respect of people he worked with along the supply chain.

After leaving his position at Oppenheimer as West Coast sales manager about 2006, Bol founded his own business, Dutch Produce.

Henry Beyer

Henry “Hank” Beyer, a Los Angeles produce industry veteran and a former partner in Sam Perricone Citrus Co., died in his Sherman Oakes, Calif., home Nov. 25, at the age of 84.

For more than 40 years, Beyer worked on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market, first as a salesman and then as a partner with the late Sam Perricone, according to a news release.

The Beyer family still owns bays on the produce market.

Ruben Shives

ShivesRuben Shives, sales manager for Edinburg, Texas-based Edinburg Citrus Association, died Nov. 20 at age 55.

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