HARRISBURG, Ore. (KMTR) -- Remembrance continues for a Harrisburg man who passed away this week after spending his life giving back to the community through his work on a famous farm.
Roger Detering, owner of "Detering Orchards" passed away on Saturday, June 9th, 2012, after suffering a heart attack. He was 78 years old.
Detering is very well known in the Willamette Valley farming community with his signature bright red hat and suspenders, denim shirt and blue jeans. Along with his outfit, his work in the orchard was iconic to many growing up in the Eugene/Springfield and southern Linn County areas.
Roger’s parents started the orchard in 1934, the same year Roger was born. Up until his passing, Roger was working on the farm, which has become an frequent spots for families, schools and the greater community.
Over the years, thousands of school kids toured the farm to learn about the lifecycle of fruits and vegetables.
Roger’s surviving family say they’ll continue his legacy.
“He understood that planting and watering and fertilizing and harvesting, he really saw that the same thing happens with people, so he wanted to plant in to the young generation so that when they, as they grow that he's really built a legacy in them and a knowledge of the things in nature,” says Greig Detering, Roger Detering’s son.
Roger is survived by several children, including Greig and Becky Detering. Both say they’ll work to continue and grow the Detering Orchard in the coming years, including this season which is about to move into harvest.
"That's what he would have wanted, I think he would be joyful today to see everyone stepping up and looking forward to making it, carrying on his legacy and tradition and you know, I can't imagine not doing that for my dad,” says Becky Detering, one of Roger’s daughters.
Education is one of the most important things Roger wanted to continue. For decades, the farm has taught kids about how the orchard grows fruits like peaches, strawberries and apples, also making products like apple cider, and finally, letting each kid take a pumpkin home.
The family is planning a celebration of life for roger at Harrisburg Christian Church on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 11 a.m. The service will be open to the public.