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Produce News Western Sales Manager Kevin Hoppe dies

Kevin Hoppe, a well-known advertising salesman who has been involved in the produce industry for more than 30 years, died  at home early Feb. 6 surrounded by his family following a 10-month battle with colon cancer.

A 1978 graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, Hoppe began his produce industry career with The Packer, eventually rising to the position of head of sales in Southern California and Arizona. K.HoppeKevin HoppeHe also held the position of ad director for Supermarket News and led the online advertising effort for Buyproduce.com.

Mr. Hoppe joined The Produce News in 2003 as Western sales manager, where he tapped into his longtime experience and contacts to help build the West Coast business for the publication. He worked through the end of 2013 until he took a medical leave to attend to his health.

“Today, with the passing of Kevin Hoppe, the produce industry has lost a true friend and champion,” said John Groh, editor and publisher of The Produce News. “He loved his job, and many of his clients became his close personal friends, which was indicative of his positive outlook and friendly attitude. We will miss him dearly at The Produce News, and our thoughts and prayers are with his three children and the rest of his family during this difficult time.”

Services will be held Saturday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Rancho Community Church in Temecula, CA. Those wishing to honor the memory of Mr. Hoppe are encouraged to make a donation to the American Cancer Society.