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Graham Daren Pimiskern, 42-year-old sales director of Del Fresco Produce Ltd. in Kingsville, ON, died Aug. 28 at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, ON. He died peacefully with family members and friends by his side.

Mr. Pimiskern suffered from kidney disease for the past year, struggling with a series of related setbacks.

"Every day, Daren [as he was commonly called] continued to be upbeat and positive so that his family and friends would believe that he was going to beat his battle," said Suzy D'Alimonte, office manager for Del Fresco Produce. "On Sunday, August 23, Daren's fight went downhill, putting him into a coma that he was unable to recover from."

Ms. D'Alimonte said that Mr. Pimiskern joined the staff at Del Fresco Produce in 2006. During his illness, he sometimes worked from home.

"He was an employee until the day he died," she added. "He will be truly missed by all our staff, professionally, but most of all personally. We all looked forward to seeing Daren in the mornings and getting our daily dose of humor. From the bottom of our hearts, we extend our condolences to his beautiful wife, Isabel, his beautiful daughter, Solange, beautiful sister, Paula, and the rest of his family. They have lost a wonderful husband, father, brother and uncle. Our staff has lost a very close and dear friend."

Numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews also survive Mr. Pimiskern. His close association with the Ontario greenhouse industry resulted in a large, related and extended family that included those from the Mastronardi family and other greenhouse producers.

"Most people in the Leamington [ON] greenhouse industry knew Daren very well and for his entire life," said Nick Mastronardi, owner of Double Diamond Acres Ltd. in Leamington. "He was sick for quite a while, but he never gave in. He worked until the very end of his life. It is a very sad thing for his family and for the community."

Memorial visiting was held at the Reid Funeral Home in Leamington Sept. 1. Mr. Pimiskern's memorial service was held on Wednesday, Sept. 2. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made by check to the Solange Pratas Pimiskern Education Fund or the Leamington Hospital Foundation Renal Dialysis Unit. Friends may share memories at www.reidfuneralhome.ca.