Nov 25, 2020Edwin Raak, Michigan fruit grower, aged 84, dies
Edwin E. Raak, 84, of Holland, Michigan, died in the early morning hours of Nov. 20, 2020, at Holland Hospital.
He is survived by his wife of 10 years Randi (Comeau) Raak, and his sons Thomas J and Barbara (Hafer), James K and Barbara (Strong), and John J and Criselda (Vasquez) and step children Christopher Herrell and Amy Derochey, and Devon Herrell. He is also survived by brothers Stanley (Betty) and Robert (Jan) Raak. Ed has 10grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Ed was born in the north Holland area, attended Hope College and Western Michigan University and graduated with a master’s degree. Between his college attendances in the 1950’s he enlisted in the army and served as an assistant chaplain in England. His career began in the educational field and later switched to the food industry working for Michigan Fruit Canners.
He was married to Ardith Naber for 52 years until her death in 2009. Ed’s passions included the food bank, farming, working the Holland Farmer’s Market and running the Dutchman Orchards Farm Market in South Haven.
According to Ed’s son, Thomas, who is sales manager for Peterson Farms in Shelby, Michigan, Edwin farmed 350 acres of fruits ( apples, cherries, peaches) in southwest Michigan. He ran the farm with his son Jim Raak.
Edwin worked on the original Cherry Marketing order as well as the current Cherry Marketing Order.
He worked in the food industry with Michigan Fruit Canners for over 30 years as sales manager ( MI Fruit became Consolidated Foods, was part of Sara Lee, and then became part of Birds Eye Foods and now Conagra).
“Agriculture was not just his occupation, it was his passion,” Tom Raak said.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Filbrandt Family Funeral Home of South Haven. There will be no memorial service due to Covid. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to your local food bank.