It is with great sadness that the family of Ralph William Borchard Jr. ("Bill") announces his sudden natural passing at the age of 65 on July 5, 2014.
Bill will be lovingly remembered by his wife Laura Gill Borchard, sons Paul Borchard and Nate Balicki (Genevieve), daughter Meg Balicki, grandchildren Bella and Zoey Balicki, sisters Peggy Anderson (Jerry) and Joan Henson (Tom), the mother of his children, Diana Borchard, nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless other family members and dear friends.
Bill, a 5th generation Southern California resident and descendant of the pioneering Borchard farming family, grew up alongside a loving family on the "ranch" in Oxnard, California. He graduated from Santa Clara High School, where among other extracurricular activities was the starting basketball point guard and tennis star. He built on his farming roots by pursuing agricultural degrees from Ventura College and Fresno State University while playing collegiate tennis.
Bill carried on the family agricultural tradition with a 43-year career at Ball Horticultural Company (PanAmerican Seed) in Santa Paula and Guadalupe. During his long tenure as a Seed Production Manager, he supported the company's growth in becoming a global leader in plant development and distribution by managing the planning, strategy and production of flower seed at all the Company's West Coast facilities. It was noted at his 40 years of service award ceremony that it's "safe to say that Bill knows just about everything there is to know about flower and seed production..." Ball Horticultural Company not only provided the opportunity to establish his worldwide industry expertise, but more importantly develop lasting relationships with wonderful colleagues. He is remembered fondly by the entire Ball Horticultural family as always having a sincere smile on his face and willing to stop what he was doing to help someone out.
In his personal life, Bill lived up to a self-prescribed motto of "we gotta keep making memories because that's all we have." While he traveled the world and was always up for an adventure, he felt the greatest pleasure in the simple experiences: BBQ's, beach sunsets, tending his garden, a hearty laugh, doling out avocados to friends...and most evident sharing special moments with his family and friends, especially his wife Laura and son Paul. Even though he was a few months from retirement, he remained incredibly active with weekly tennis matches, golf games, and was always willing to lend a helping hand with any project. Although his life was a shorter than we all anticipated, we were all touched by his loving heart, gracious generosity and incredible ability to make everyone feel special.
Bill was preceded in passing by his dearly loved son Eric, and parents Ralph (Papa) and Helen (Mimi).We invite you to join in remembering Bill with visitation from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, July 10th at Wheeler-Smith Mortuary, 2890 S. Higuera, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, and a celebration of Bill's life at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 12th at the Borchard Ranch in Oxnard, CA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be mailed in his memory to a memorial endowment at the Horticulture and Crop Science Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 (805-756-2279).
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