October 29, 1922 ~ June 14, 2014
Ted Zacher passed away on June 14, 2014, in Wenatchee, WA, at age 91. He was born to Gustave and Lydia Spies Zacher on October 29, 1922, in Low Gap, WA, near George. The family moved to Dryden, WA in 1926, where Ted developed his lifelong ethic for hard work and his affinity for farming on his family’s apple and pear orchard. He graduated from Dryden High School in 1940, and Wenatchee Junior College in 1942, and earned a B.A. in Economics and Business at the University of Washington. Ted joined the United States Navy Reserve at the University of Washington and went on to graduate from Harvard School of Business. After graduation, he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Supply Corp., and served as a Supply and Disbursement Officer aboard the destroyers USS George K. MacKenzie DD836 and USS Glennon DD 840. He then served as the Commissary Officer at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, until his discharge in April 1947, as a Lieutenant, (jg), SC USNR.
Ted married Vera Nelson Gericke in 1947, and they made their home in Wenatchee. Together, they raised four children and owned and operated a number of orchards. In June of 1956, he joined Wenatchee Wenoka Growers Association and shortly thereafter, was voted in as General Manager of the grower-owned cooperative. Wenoka later became Chief Wenatchee at their new location on Hawley Street and Ted was elected as their President. After 36 years at Chief Wenatchee and Wenatchee Wenoka Growers Association, Ted resigned in 1992. During those 36 years, Ted and Vera raised cherries, pears, apricots, peaches and apples, and Ted sold the fruit. Ted was a fruit industry leader, who helped advance production and sales innovations in multiple aspects, opening Asian markets to Northwest cherries, apples and peaches. He repeatedly introduced new technology for processing, storing and shipping fruit. While President of Chief Wenatchee, Ted installed the first cherry cluster cutter and machine sizer used in the cherry industry in 1958, the first electronic color apple sorter in the world in 1961, and introduced controlled atmosphere in cold storage rooms in 1962. In 1978, he negotiated with the Japanese government to get Northwest cherries into the Japanese market and was crowned Northwest Cherry King in a ceremony in Yakima, WA. In 1987, he was first in the industry to ship frozen apple products to Japan. In 1989, he brought Glico Apple Corporation to Wenatchee to produce and ship a cloudy type apple juice concentrate to Japan. After Ted retired from Chief Wenatchee, he developed a couple hundred acre close-planted orchard of white fleshed peaches, donut peaches, nectarines and apples in Royal Slope, and packed the fruit in his warehouse in George, WA, a mere stone’s throw from where he was born.
Ted was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Beacon Hill Grange, Wenatchee Central Lions Club, and Wenatchee Senior Activity Center, where he and his partner, Motoyo Harvill, enjoyed the frequent afternoon dances. Ted never really retired. In the past ten years, he enjoyed growing fruit trees, grapes and vegetables around his Wenatchee home, sharing his produce with friends and taking boxes of fruit to the hospital and to the Senior Center, and relaxing at Lake Chelan.
Ted is survived by daughter, Pixieann (Vito) Kalcic of Kodiak, AK; brother, Kenneth (Penny) Zacher of Carmichael, CA; granddaughter, Paula Zacher of Wenatchee; grandson, Tyee (Amber )Zacher, and great-granddaughter, Evelyn Tacey Ann, all of Cashmere; grandsons, Michael and Jarred Zacher of Wenatchee; granddaughter, Trina (Ricky Garcia) Zacher, and great-grandson, Tanner Zacher-Garcia, all of Cashmere; and friend of many years, Motoyo Harvill. Ted was preceded in death by his wife, Vera; parents, Gus and Lydia Spies Zacher-Schille; sister, Viola Mayhan Davis; sons, Dennis, Gregory and Timothy; grandson, Kristin; and granddaughter, Teddi.
Memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church Music Fund or to Wenatchee Valley Senior Activity Center.
A Celebration of Ted’s life will be held at Grace Lutheran Church on Friday, June 20, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., with refreshments to follow in the fellowship hall at 1408 Washington Street, Wenatchee. Condolences may be mailed to Ted’s family at 300 Elliott Avenue South, Apt 4, Wenatchee, WA 98801.