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Washington apple industry veteran dies at 89 years

Friends and family are mourning the passing of Robert C. (Bob) Reinholt who passed away on January 16th, 2023, in Wenatchee, Washington. 

Owning his own orchard had been a dream of Reinholt’s since spending his summers as a youth, working in the apple orchards of the Lloyd Garretson Company. He bought his first apple orchard in 1960, and then in 1964, he also took the position of field man at Yakima Fruit and Cold Storage. At Yakima, he quickly worked his way into a sales position and ultimately became the sales manager over the 15+ years he was employed there.

In 1979, he became a partner in Price Cold Storage and Packing and stayed there until his retirement in 2000. When he joined PCS, it was a small grower and packer of apples and pears. Through his contacts and relationships, the company grew quickly, adding new orchards, outside growers, state-of-the-art packing facilities and additional sales volume through relationships with additional packers. 1979 was also the same year he became involved with the International Apple Institute as a member of the board of directors and he took on the chairman’s role in 1983.

This was also around the time he was asked to join the leadership of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association and he took on the chairman role there in 1988. That same year, he was also awarded The Packer/Vance Publishing Apple Man of the Year.

As chairman of United, he devoted a lot of his time to traveling and speaking at produce-related conferences and conventions. While Reinholt never sought the limelight or recognition for his efforts, it managed to find him quite regularly. Then, in August of 1988, during one of his speaking tours, he was involved in a major airline accident when his Delta Airlines flight from Dallas to Salt Lake City crashed on takeoff. His injuries were relatively minor given the seriousness of the accident. However, the experience and those injuries affected him for the rest of his life.    

While he officially retired in 2000, he never lost his interest in the business and the people who were part of his produce life. Reinholt will be remembered as a great businessman, mentor, manager and friend to many. However, most importantly, he was a great family man, a father of three, grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of one so far. He will be deeply missed by many.

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