Longtime apple grower Richard Harris Thomason of Brewster, Washington, died on Nov. 18, according to an obituary published in the Wenatchee World.

Thomason, born on March 24, 1948, grew apples for nearly 50 years at Maverick Orchards, the family farm started by his father. Known as an innovative grower for adopting new varieties, he was one of the first growers in the country to plant Fuji apples and went on to plant 30 acres of Honeycrisp in the late 1990s, a move considered a high risk at the time. 

Thomason had a long history with the Washington fruit industry. He was a board member and chair of the Washington Apple Commission for many years, and he served from 2014–2017 with the Northwest Horticultural Council, which focuses on national and international policy issues affecting growers and shippers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. He also served as president and board member of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association and of the Okanogan Horticultural Association. 

The full obituary for Thomason is available at: wenatcheeworld.com/tributes/in_memoriam/richard-harris-thomason/article_4a78e738-1a35-5dc1-bd14-07d6c5d235b3.html

—by Jared Johnson