John Richard “Dick” Borton, son of the late Byron S. Borton who founded Borton Fruit in 1912 (which was coincidentally the year Richard was born), turned 100 years old on Wednesday May 30th. Dick has been very influential to the Borton Company, Borton family and Yakima community as a whole. Even at 100 years old he has a youthful spirit that continues to inspire those around him. In addition to being a tremendous driving force for the Borton Fruit Company, Dick is an amazing person and community leader that has touched the lives of many. Dick is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. A man of God with strong moral character and unshaking values, he has been an outstanding role model and influence in the Borton family and the Yakima Community. Dick Borton now has 13 grandchildren and great grandchildren. His Son, John Borton along with his nephew Bill Borton now run the Borton Family business.
Dick Borton graduated From Washington State University (then Washington State College) in 1935 as Magna Cum-Laude with a degree in electrical engineering. After graduation, he worked several years for Puget Power in both Everett and Wenatchee. He married his wife Veda in 1938 and their marriage was a testament for how a couple should love and cherish each other. They were married for 70 years until Veda passed away in 2008.
As the 1940’s approached, the United States and the Borton farm were on the verge of major changes. Byron S. was approaching retirement and war broke out. In 1941, Dick’s brother Don Borton was called to war. Tragically in 1944, he was declared “missing-in-action” and later his death was confirmed. These changes tugged at Richard’s heart, and he was drawn home and welcomed back in 1942 as he joined his elder brother (Byron E.) and father in the family farming business. Dick and his brother maintained control of Borton & Sons until 1972. During this period they helped grow Borton Fruit and evolve the family business. The Fruit storage was converted to refrigerated facilities and the business established their own packing plant. The fruit was sold through a broker, but the orchards were expanded to approximately 240 acres by 1972. Dick, along with his brother, was very influential for laying the groundwork for the success that Borton Fruit experiences Today. Their hard work, values and dedication infused a healthy culture in Borton Fruit, paving the way for continual growth of a respectful company and a driven family.
Posted July 26, 2012
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