Plug Connection’s Juan St. Amant Passes Away
Juan St. Amant, the retired “Face of Plug Connection” sadly passed away Sunday, June 13, at his home in Vista, California. His final days were very peaceful with his family nearby. Juan was loved and respected by his family, friends and his Plug Connection family. He is survived by wife of 28 years Gerina, his sons Kelsey and William, and granddaughter Wednesday. Many people both within the Plug Connection and the broader industry have grown due to his passion for plants and his mentorship.
Juan was the oldest of five children. He is remembered as a thoughtful and kind-hearted person who loved his family, friends, music and his work. Juan was also a true animal lover. He was dedicated to sharing his knowledge of plants and more, with all. He graduated from UCLA and had a degree in teaching.
“Juan had a kind soul, a fun spirit, and a mentoring personality. He was inclusive of all and always invited us to any personal gathering or event at work. He was a terrific big brother and it was so special to have him as an industry colleague,” said Michele St. Amant, his youngest sibling.
“Juan was the third employee we ever had,” shares Tim Wada, owner of Plug connection for it’s first 30 years. Juan came to the company in 1987 in the original Long Beach location, having been a school teacher with no horticultural experience. Juan’s love and passion for plants overcame any lack of experience. Wada recalls Juan’s first days at Plug Connection, “His first duty was to learn how to drag a hose around and water the plug trays by hand. But he never complained about it, he just worked through it”.
In 1991 Juan made the move with the company 80 miles south to start the new location in Vista, California. As the company grew, Juan progressed from head grower, to production manager, to key accounts manager. But Juan really shined in his last role in new product development. Wada emphasizes, “I’m pretty sure his last position was his favorite because he loved being out in the industry and being the contact person for anything new or interesting.”
The industry benefited from his passion, the knowledge he shared and the lives he touched with his good natured attitude.
Nicole Jackson, former sales manager at Plug Connection reminisced, “He led with his heart, he was immensely kind and had such a great sense of humor.”
Wada summarizes his thoughts on Juan, “I of all people owe Juan a debt of gratitude for helping us achieve the success we enjoyed, and I’m sure he took a lot of pride in that too. You always hear about how our industry was filled with good people, well Juan was definitely one of them.”