22 June 2020
DENVER, USA: In his latest Acres Online newsletter, Chris Beytes from GrowerTalks reports on the death of well-known horticulture industry executive Gary Falkenstein. Gary who passed away on 5 June from complications following surgery. He was 75.
Gary was a graduate of Michigan State University in 1966 with a degree in floriculture business. The Boulder, Colorado, resident held high-level positions in many companies, including Ball Seed, where he was marketing manager; starting as president at Fischer USA, in 1994 where he helped build the brand in North America; and at Syngenta, after it acquired Fischer. Most recently, in 2013, he launched ePlantsource, an online brokerage, where he served as President and CEO.
Gary is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marguerite; son Kevin and daughters Stephanie and Suzanne, and six grandchildren.
Gary’s long-time friend and colleague Karl Trellinger sent me a note about Gary’s passing. Karl said, “Gary had … been actively involved in the overall Fischer organisation regarding worldwide cutting supply, the creation of an integrated computer system and developing geranium varieties specifically for the North American market. There was nothing that Gary had not been involved in, always providing his unique perspective and valuable advice.
“Equally striking had been Gary’s strong empathy for people, honesty, enjoyment of life and a wonderful sense of humour with a burst of infectious laughter. Working with Gary was always a combination of being inspiring, problem solving, evaluating what can be doing better and all that while having a lot of fun. Additionally, it was always a special treat to experience Gary as the life of the dinner party on many occasions over the years.
“Gary was an extraordinary human being and will be strongly missed by all who knew and worked with him.”
A tentative celebration of life is planned for his birthday, 24 August 2020. Also, a memorial fund has been set up in Gary’s name with JDRF to support the fight against type 1 diabetes. For more information, visit www2.jdrf.org/goto/garyfalkenstein