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Washington's tree fruit industry is mourning the death of Gladwin Bellamy Jr., president of Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, who died unexpectedly Oct. 1. Mr. Bellamy, known to his friends and co-workers as Glady, was 58.

Born in Goldendale, WA, in 1952 to Gladwin and Ruth Bellamy, Mr. Bellamy grew up in central California and graduated from Lodi High School in 1970 before continuing his studies at Sacramento State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business. In 2001, Mr. Bellamy — who was an avid basketball player — was inducted into the Lodi Sports Hall of Fame.

Following his graduation from college, Mr. Bellamy returned to Washington in 1974 to work as a sales associate for Tenneco West. He joined the staff of Beebe Orchards in 1980 as a sales manager and worked there for the following nine years.

In 1989, Mr. Bellamy and business partners Nick Buak, McDougall & Sons Inc. and Columbia Fruit Packers formed Columbia Marketing International. The company would go on to become one of the larger grower-shippers of apples, pears and cherries in the Evergreen State. Actively involved with Washington’s tree fruit industry for nearly four decades, Mr. Bellamy helped shape the industry.

In an Oct. 4 statement, Mr. Buak said, "Glady was a fantastic individual who cared deeply for his family, colleagues and business associates, cherishing his relationships and holding them close. Glady believed in the future of our industry and leaves a legacy that will last for many generations to come. He will be dearly missed by all."

CMI Vice President of Marketing Bob Mast said in an Oct. 5 statement to The Produce News that Mr. Bellamy was a man of the highest integrity.

“Glady Bellamy was a man of great conviction. His life truly was an example for all of us of how to treat your fellow man,” he told The Produce News. “He garnered the respect of all and returned the same respect to everyone he ever met. He greeted everyone with that famous Glady smile and with great sincerity that was second to none. Nothing was below Glady Bellamy. No matter how busy he was, no matter how many things he had on his plate, he would drop everything to help someone in need. Glady Bellamy won the world’s respect with his greatness, and won its love with his goodness. He had the confidence that comes with conviction, the strength that comes with character, the grace that comes with humility and the humor that comes with wisdom. He leaves behind a family and many friends that are far better for knowing him.”

CMI Marketing Coordinator Linda McFarland recalled of Mr. Bellamy, “He was an avid golfer. He was very fit. He always came to work early and never missed a day of work. It’s a huge loss for us personally. We’re all trying to pick up the pieces.”

Mr. Bellamy is survived by his wife, Chris Bellamy of East Wenatchee, WA; children, Robert Goodwin of East Wenatchee, WA, and Tom Bellamy of Wenatchee, WA; stepson, Eric Schmidt of Seattle; brothers, Doug Bellamy of Elk Grove, CA, and Terry Bellamy of Stockton, CA.; and sisters, Barbara Wells of Pomona, CA and Becky Taylor of Windsor, CO.

Those wishing to honor Mr. Bellamy’s memory are encouraged to donate to the newly created Glady Bellamy Memorial Scholarship fund at the Washington Apple Education Foundation, 2900 Euclid Ave., Wenatchee, WA, 98801.