As 2018 comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some incredible colleagues that passed in the IANE over the past few years. Our industry will never be the same without any of them.
Jim McGovern wrote this about Phil Tropeano so well at his passing in 2015, I will just repost it. His family and mine have known each other for decades, he is missed by many.
1 Phil Tropeano, founder of Larchmont Engineering and Irrigation, passed away this weekend at the age of 93. Phil started Larchmont in 1949 working in the agricultural market manufacturing and distributing specialized farm machinery and conveyors. Irrigation was added in 1950 and snow making in 1951. Phil was nothing short of a pioneer and some of his original design equipment is still in use today. Phil was also a mentor to many in the irrigation industry, including myself. He had such a big heart and will be missed by many.
Not much you can say about this man that has not been said before. It would be hard to imagine anyone, over the years, that has done business with Stateline and has not had the pleasure of knowing Bob. His loss was a shock to all that knew him and especially to his son Rob and his family at Stateline.
2- Robert J Fragala, In 1988, he founded Stateline Irrigation Supply with his wife and two partners and built it into the 9 branch/30 employee organization that it is today. His son got into the business and they worked side-by-side until the day he died, doing the job he loved and considered his favorite hobby. He passed unexpectedly, on November 15, 2017 at age 73 at his his second home in Desert Hot Springs, CA.
We lost two long time members and former officers in the IANE in 2018. Many of us in the industry and the IANE, were very fortunate to have had the pleasure of knowing them. Their contributions will never go unnoticed and they will be missed.
3- Robert "Bob" Alan Paxton, 62, of Bedford passed away on August 13, 2018. Bob opened his business, New England Lawn Irrigation, which grew successfully until his retirement in 2017. Bob was a former Presidents of the IANE.
4- David Hock, 64, of Manchester died surrounded by his loving family and friends on November 24, 2018 as a result of a sudden illness. He was born on February 23, 1954 in Manchester to the late Edward and Marion (Shatz) Hock. Dave attended Manchester schools and graduated from UNH in 1974. He was co-owner of Landscape Plus for over 19 years and owner of NH Irrigation since 1986. He took great pride in his work and was widely respected by his customers and peers. It brought him great joy to work side by side with his son Chris and for many years with his good friend Mark Germana. Dave was one of the founding fathers of the IANE and a former President.