Gone But Never Forgotten By Tim Hodson

Our industry has lost a great one.

On Oct. 18, Jack Williams died unexpectedly while traveling in Australia (see news story on page 8).

Jack was international product manager and technical support representative at Ecke Ranch, Encinitas, Calif. He also served as an editorial advisor to both GPN and Lawn & Garden Retailer.

Jack was truly one of a kind! He brought a unique perspective to everything he did. His compassion for our industry and life in general is unparalleled. Jack would always ask thought-provoking questions and respond to your questions with thought-provoking answers. Anyone who ever crossed his well-traveled path cherished his friendship and wisdom. I know I always will.

I was talking to Lloyd Traven at Peace Tree Farm the morning we learned about Jack's death and we both agreed that there is now a huge hole in our industry. Jack was our go-to guy. He always had an answer for you when you had a "challenge." If he didn't have an answer for you, he would help you find one — the right one!

As Luck Would Have It

I was incredibly fortunate to run in to Jack just a couple of weeks before his trip to Australia. I was in Encinitas to see some other folks at Ecke Ranch and to my great surprise Jack was actually in the office that day. About the only time you ever see Jack in California is during Spring Trials, so he was the last person I expected to see. As with all of our conversations, we talked about a myriad of topics both professional and personal.

Syngenta Flowers' Faith Savage told me she also had an opportunity to meet up with Jack for lunch right before his trip. Neither one of us can still fathom that would be the last time either one of us saw our friend — and how much we both treasure our last meetings with him.

Jack may no longer be with us, but he never will be forgotten. The late children's author Dr. Seuss once said, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Jack, I am smiling ear to ear!

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