LEONARD LINDER/AFP/Getty ImagesLEONARD BERGMAN/AFP via Getty ImagesLEO TAKA/AFP and REUTERSLEONARDS BRUCE/AFP ANDREWS REUTER/EPALEONES BRUKE/AFP LEONARDS BREWSTER/AFP Leonards GUTIERREZ/AFP John R. McDaniel/GettyImages LEONES CASTILLO/AFP Getty ImagesLUCAS POEBLO/Associated Press(L) ANDREW JONES/AFP / Getty Images(R) LEON ARCHIBALD/AFPLEONARIO DE PORTUGAL/AFP (L) LEONS GALLAGHER/AFPL-Getty Images LEON GALLAM/AFPANDREW COSTELLO/GettyPhotos(C) LEOS CASTILLE/AFP(L)/AFP(R)/AFPLEONS GUTERERREZ / AFPLeonards BREWERY/GettyReuters(C)(R) ANDERSON COLEMAN/GettyImage(L), LEONIS PEDRASALDO/AFPLeons BREWERS/Getty(L-R) and LEONS KENDRICKS/AFPJACK BROWN/AFPREUTERSLEONAS BRUCH/AFP LECHTONVILLE, Tenn.
(AP) LEonard Berry, the father of Kentucky’s signature citrus, has died.
He was 85.
Berry was born in Chattanooga in 1920, where his father built a peach and pear business and later expanded it into citrus fruit.
He spent his early years growing, buying and selling, and then became the owner of his own family citrus farm in the 1960s.
In the 1980s, Berry moved to Tennessee to start his own citrus farm, Berry Farms.
His son, James Berry, said in a statement Saturday, Berry was a devoted father, husband, father of three children and grandfather.
“Leons’ passion for the world of citrus began with the fruit, which he loved and worked so hard to develop and produce for the betterment of our community,” Berry said.
He said his father worked tirelessly to raise the standards of the industry.
His wife, Barbara, said Berry was “always the best man for his family, and he had the best of intentions to do that for all of us.”
She said her husband had been diagnosed with cancer in the early 1990s.
She called Berry a “true American patriot.”
“We will miss his wonderful spirit, love, and kindness,” she said.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Barbara Berry, his daughters, Jessica and Leann, and his son, Eric.