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Hronis Inc.'s Peter Galvan dead at 69

by | December 06, 2010
Peter (Pete) Galvan, a sales representative at Hronis Inc. in Delano, CA, died Nov. 4 following a short illness. More than 300 family members and friends attended his services in Bakersfield, CA, to pay their respects and tributes to a man with a distinguished career in produce. He was 69.

A testimony to his client base and the way he conducted business, friends made during Mr. Galvan's 46 years in agriculture generally were clients and associates, and "were really more like family," according to his son, Louie Galvan, managing partner of Delano-based Fruit Royale, where his other son, John, is also a partner. Peter Galvan stayed in touch and became friends with his associates and clients from the beginning of his career.

Born Aug. 26, 1941, in Mesa, AZ, Mr. Galvan began his produce career in Nogales, AZ, after serving four years in the United States Air Force.

He moved to California’s Central Valley in 1985 when he went to work for Superior Farms. He then moved to Gerawan Farming in the Sanger, CA, area and then to Delano to work with Stevco Inc.

Louie Galvan said that his father went to work about eight years ago for Hronis Inc., a position his dad referred to as his “crown champion” — his favorite position in his produce career. He loved his job and the people with whom he worked.

Pete Hronis, vice president of sales for family-owned Hronis Inc., said that he and Pete Galvan had an ongoing challenge to see who could arrive at work first on any given morning. The challenge lasted throughout their association and served as a testimony to Mr. Galvan’s love for his work.

“While most people work to live,” Pete Hronis said, “Pete loved produce so much, he really lived to work.”

An example of Mr. Galvan’s friendly business acumen was given by Tom Law, vice president of sales at Tom Lange Inc. in Pittsburgh and a Hronis Inc. client, who dealt with Mr. Galvan. “We developed a great friendship,” Mr. Law said. “He was a great guy, always good to his word.” They would talk about family and play a round of golf whenever possible. “Pete was one of the few people in the industry like that. We became really close.

“Pete was always cheery and happy,” Mr. Law continued. “In all the years we’ve done business together, I don’t think we ever had a conflict. Never got to the point we had to resolve anything. We were always fair with each other — he told me what he had, I told him what I could book. When there was a problem, it wasn’t an issue. Instead of everybody trying to outmaneuver everyone, which can be a problem in this industry, I never had a situation like that with Pete.”

“Forty-six years in one capacity — produce,” said his son Louie Galvan. He “lived and breathed produce.”

When he got ill, about a month before he died, Mr. Galvan often expressed his concerns about how soon he could get back to work. “Most of us would be concerned when we could play the next round of golf, but Pops was more interested in getting a chance to sell oranges or grapes, depending on the season,” Louie Galvan said.

As for golf, “Pops was hard to beat,” Louie said. “We golfed most Sundays, depending on the weather. John and I would have to pony up at the end of the day, but that didn’t keep us from going back the next week.” Mr. Galvan also spent quality time with his sons at lunch most workdays, year round, discussing family, friends and offering guidance from his produce experience.

Mr. Galvan is survived by his wife, Lupita, and additional family members, including five children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.