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Pennsylvania apple grower Daniel Boyer was 68

Daniel Allan Boyer, owner of Ridgetop Orchards and an influential member of the Pennsylvania and U.S. apple industry, died Sunday, Sept. 4 at his home surrounded by his family. He was 68.

"Dan was a larger-than-life figure who brought remarkable passion, experience and energy into the beautiful orchard acres of Ridgetop," the company said in a statement. "His love of the land, dedication to his family and teachings to staff will continue to have a lasting impact in the Chestnut Ridge region he called home."

Born May 21, 1954 in Grove City, PA, to the late Allan and JoAnn (Cuppett) Boyer, he grew up on their family fruit farm in New Paris alongside his brothers, Matthew and Bruce. This developed Mr. Boyer's passion for fruit growing. On July 17, 1976 he married his high school sweetheart, Lois (Miller) Boyer.

Mr. Boyer received his bachelor's degree with high distinction from The Pennsylvania State University in 1976. He is the owner of Ridgetop Orchards, along with his wife, Lois, and sons, Seth and Mark.

Mr. Boyer is past president and member of the PA State Horticultural Association and former member of Penn State University Agricultural Advisory Committee. He served on the PA Apple Marketing Board, U.S. Apple Association board of directors and International Fruit Tree Associations Board. Mr. Boyer also received the 2009 Outstanding Grower Award presented by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania.

"It has been said that all of the fruits of tomorrow are in the seeds of today," the company said. "Dan Boyer gave us an abundance of seeds and he will live on in all of the Ridgetop family, staff and fruits of tomorrow. His daily presence will be greatly missed."

Mr. Boyer is survived by his wife and three children: son, Seth Allan, married to Megan (Young) of New Paris; daughter, Natalie (Boyer) Toth married to Greg Toth of Virginia; son, Mark Andrew, married to Brooke (McCoy) of Fishertown; as well as eight grandchildren: Eva Rose, Mackenzie Grace, Alexandra Ann, Andrew George, Luke Daniel, Paul Gregory, Case Allan and Eli Thomas.

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