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In Memoriam: Jonathan “Papa Jon” Huntington

Chris Beytes

Jonathan Huntington, founder of Pleasant View Gardens of Loudon, New Hampshire, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, December 8. He was 95.

Affectionately known as “Papa Jon,” the family patriarch was born in Connecticut in 1928. He earned a degree in dairy science at the University of New Hampshire. After marrying Eleanor Rippe in 1954, he started a successful career as a bread man for Pepperidge Farm. Farming was always in his blood, so he often found himself working at Eleanor’s dad’s family farm stand, Rippe Farms in Westport, Connecticut. He eventually took over and ran the farm until 1976, when they decided to dig up their deep Connecticut roots and move with their two sons, Jeff and Henry, to Loudon, where they purchased Pleasant View Gardens, eventually building the business into the nationally known Proven Winners partner and young- and finished-plant supplier that it is today. The company celebrated its 47th anniversary on December 1. Even after his official retirement, Papa Jon remained active at Pleasant View for many years.

Like most of our industry’s greats, Papa Jon was loved in the horticulture industry and was involved in Bedding Plants International (BPI), and several regional and state associations, while making the annual trip to Columbus, Ohio, in July for the Ohio Floriculture Association Short Course, now called Cultivate. He was also involved with his church, civic boards and other organizations. GT

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