Fred Valentine, a longtime field horticulturist and former president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, died December 4. He was 81.
Valentine was born in Tennessee, and his family moved to Peshastin, Washington, when he was a child.
He worked as a field horticulturist for Blue Star Growers for more than 30 years, and filled roles at several major companies in the fruit industry in the years after he left, including Wells and Wade, Stemilt Growers Inc. and Van Well Nursery. He retired from Van Well in 2014.
He also served as president of the Washington State Horticultural Association for several years, beginning in 1989, seeing the apple industry through the Alar scare.
Valentine served as chairman of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission in 1991 and on the Fresh Pear Committee’s research subcommittee from 1990 to 2000.
He also served 20 years as a pear industry representative on the board of Tree-Top, the fruit processing cooperative. The Washington State Horticultural Association awarded him the Silver Pear Award in 1984 and the Silver Apple Award in 1995.
A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on December 17 at Sage Hills Methodist Church in Wenatchee, Washington.