D. Garth Hetz, former president and CEO of Fairview Evergreen Nurseries, dies at 81
D. Garth Hetz.
Image courtesy of the WNLA.

D. Garth Hetz, former president and CEO of Fairview Evergreen Nurseries, dies at 81

Hetz spent most of his career as foreman of 'Crew 2,' and as the company's president/CEO and Chairman of the Board, until his retirement in 2003.

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According to industry-wide announcement from the Western Nursery & Landscape Association (WNLA), D. Garth Hetz, age 81, passed away in his sleep on Dec. 21.

He was born in his parents' home on Water Street, in Fairview, on Oct. 2, 1938, the first born and only son of Clifford Burton Hetz and Estella Mae Lamb Hetz.

Garth was the grandson of Frank C. Hetz, the founder of Fairview Evergreen Nurseries, Inc., the family's business established in 1911. Garth developed a strong work ethic while growing up working in the fields with the crews planting and harvesting the evergreens, flowering shrubs and shade trees that would go on to beautify the landscapes of the nursery's wholesale customers and their clients throughout the eastern and midwestern United States and Canada. He spent most of his long career as foreman of 'Crew 2,' and as the company's President/CEO and Chairman of the Board, until his retirement in 2003.

Garth is survived by his wife, Peggy; daughter, Heidi Zomnir (Rick); sons, Hans-Erik Hetz (Amy) and Hagan Hetz (Kelly); and eight grandchildren, Michael Garth Zomnir (Alive Xiao), Chloe Zomnir (J. Rain Ellis), and Hali, Heath, Hyatt, Hollen, Harper and Henrik Hetz. He is also survived by three sisters, Janice Goff (Dan), Faith Rose (Tony), and Christine Hetz Phillips; and honorary sister, Rosario Mena Veras (Luis). Garth was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Diane Hetz; and grandson, Hayden Sawyer Hetz.

Memorials may be made to The Planetary Society, 60 South Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101-2016 www.planetary.org, or to the Autism Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania www.autismnwpa.org

Read his full obituary here.