Jul 11, 2017Strawberry producer Koontz dies at age 62
Robert “Fritz” Koontz was born in French Lick, Indiana, but raised in Cave Creek, Arizona. A graduate of Arizona State University, he moved to California, where began his career in agricultural banking and in the 1970s. Soon moving into the business management industry with a focus on strawberry companies, Koontz got his start in produce through his work with the Gargiulo Company. Throughout his career, he spent time with companies such as Tom Lange, Beach Street Farms, and later launched Santa Cruz Berry Farming Co.
According to a release, Koontz is survived by his daughter Alex, his son Keegan, two brothers Rod and Andy, as well as his nieces and nephews, Torin, Donovan, and Taylor. He is preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Evelyn Koontz.
Koontz’s sense of humor was one of his hallmark traits, which he interwove into his stories in a way that could always make you smile or laugh. Koontz had a love of music that was evident is his eclectic Spotify playlists, and had a passion for traveling, playing sports and watching them.
His huge heart translated into a love of feeding and caring for others, which is one of the reasons that he was so passionate about agriculture. He was described by loved ones as always being concerned with what was best for those who worked for him and with him.
A celebration of life will be held July 13 at 2:00 p.m. at the home of Armando Ramirez, 287 Casserly Road, Watsonville, California.