David Gale, 88, of Rutland, died March 20, 2013, at Rutland Regional Medical Center after a brief illness.
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David was born on November 12, 1924, in Greencastle, IN, the youngest son of Lloyd B. and Hulda M. (Thomas) Gale. He moved to Mendon as a teenager, where his family lived with his grandfather at Mendon Mountain Orchards. He graduated from Rutland High School in 1942.
David has been the loving caretaker of the trees at Mendon Mountain Orchards, which his grandfather planted in 1921, for over 60 years. After his grandfather's death, David continued to manage the orchard for each new owner, caring for 1,100 trees during the height of the orchard's production, pruning and thinning each tree by hand, supervising the picking crews and managing the storage and packing house. Many local residents remember visiting Mendon Mountain Orchards during school tours and watching with fascination as David pressed cider.
David was a member of the Mendon Community United Methodist Church, serving as treasurer for many years. As a charter member of the Mendon Fish and Game Club, David was honored for his longtime membership. Always interested in keeping up his professional knowledge, David was a member of the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association, attending regular meetings around the state.
David enlisted in the Marines during World War II, serving in the Pacific. After the war, he completed a degree in Horticulture from Cornell University and became his grandfather's orchard manager, where he worked up until his death.
David took tremendous joy in visiting family during holidays and keeping in touch the rest of the year through cards and photographs. He will be remembered as a man of few words, an animal lover and cherished member of both his own and the Mendon Mountain Orchards family.
David is survived by a brother, P. Richardson "Dick" Gale of Robbinsville, N.J.; three nieces, Peggy Kocis, Sue Gale, and Beth Kosinski; five nephews, Robert Gale, Tom Gale, Don Gale, David Gale, and Ken Gale. He was predeceased by his brother John Gale of Middlebury, VT, in 2009.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Mendon Community United Methodist Church, 2600 RT. 4 East, Mendon, VT.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Mendon Community United Methodist Church, c/o Clifford Funeral Home, 2 Washington St., Rutland, VT 05701.
Published in Rutland Herald from Mar. 22 to Mar. 23, 2013