CAPCO founders die within days of each other

Central American Produce Co., a leading importer of fruits and vegetables from Central America, based in Pompano Beach, FL, announced the recent deaths of founders David and Jean Warren. Mr. Warren died April 15 less than a month before his 103rd birthday, and Ms. Warren died eight days prior, at the age of 94.Dave--Jean-Warrne-honeymoon

The couple founded Central American Produce Inc. in 1976 and worked tirelessly for years to develop and increase produce imports from Central America. Mr. Warren, who helped pioneer Guatemala’s melon and vegetable exporting industries, gained much satisfaction working in the industry, providing growers with technical knowledge they can use to successfully grow, pack and ship their crops.

During a 2016 interview, he said, “I find the industry is just as exciting now as anytime I’ve been in it. To pack, ship and warehouse products, to get them to where they have great eating qualities and are very beneficial to people, in terms of health, what more fun could you have?”

Although his son, Michael, had taken over the business, Mr. Warren continued to come to the office and provide support until last year. But even though he had stopped coming to the office, he would still call in regularly to get updates from the staff on how things were going.

“The qualities that my father and mother had that made them successful were resilience, persistence and passion,” Michael Warren said. “They demonstrated this daily in business and personal life. My dad would quote my grandfather to live by the golden rule of ‘Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.’  He had a recipe for life and he shared it with my mother and the family. The secrets for longevity I observed through my father’s daily routines was to stay connected to family, eat nutritional foods and exercise regularly. And short phone calls weekly to family and friends just to catch up on what was new and how they were doing. He would eat large volumes of fruits and vegetables all day long -- for nutrition to keep the body strong and with a younger look than the years could eveDave--Jean-Warren-50th-anniversary1r reflect. He generally cared about each and every person, that they would have opportunities to better their lives for the future.”

Michael Warren said that both of his parents assisted many people in start-up businesses, educational pursuits and just to help out others with their general needs.

“Thousands of workers throughout the Americas depend on agriculture to raise families, and this was always a driving factor for our own farms as well as working with others,” he said. “Then there was quality. If it cost another $200 an acre — or 25 cents a box — to produce a better product, he had to give customers the best product. He was a mentor to many and a tormentor to a few as he always pushed excellence in every pursuit. That was the bar he set and continually raised higher and higher.”

Michael Warren said his parents kept up with world events, the stock market and what forces would drive it, and they loved watching sports and old movies, especially musicals. “They lived life simply and real-life events are what excited them about the world,” he said. “My father would watch Shark Tank because he liked to hear what creative ideas were being pitched and how others responded to them. My parents were examples of how to live life and appreciate what is really important.“

David and Jean Warren are survived by four children: Wendy Warren (Jim Calvert) , Jody Miller, Susan (Tom) Drake and Michael (Janice) Warren, as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is being planned for later this month.

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