Isabel Nuñez, A Founding Member of Bard Valley Date Growers, Passes Away
- by Chandler James
YUMA, AZ - It is with a heavy heart and our deepest condolences that we share the recent passing of Isabel Nuñez, one of the original founding members of the Bard Valley Date Growers and a date industry icon. He passed away on Friday, February 7. A true American success story, Nuñez paved the way for growers and operations to thrive in the Bard Valley region, giving jobs to thousands and supplying the country with only the best Medjool dates.
In 1958, Nuñez first arrived in Bard Valley as a farm laborer working for a Medjool date grower. Fueled by a passion and wonder of dates and his crop, he purchased his very own 10-acre date farm in 1972 and began his own operation in Bard Valley, where Natural Delights dates still grow today. It was under his care and stewardship that his date farm thrived and a few years later, he acquired Imperial Date Gardens. Today, the Nuñez family now has 4,000 acres, with dates growing on 3,000 of those acres.
“My father revolutionized the Medjool date industry and was responsible for so many changes for the industry for so many years,” said Gus Nuñez. “We’re going to miss his insight as a family and what he meant to this particular operation. As one of the last pioneers of the early Medjool date industry, he contributed to what we have now in terms of growing and production. I hope he is known for having had the courage and vision to get us to the level we are at today.”
It was until his death that Nuñez worked in the date gardens. He was assisted by his children, Gus, Ramon, and Mari, and his grandson, Brandon.
“Much of the success of the Medjool date industry people know today is due to the personal pride and close attention to product quality that Isabel Nuñez and his family showed to their Medjool dates,” said David Anderson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Natural Delights. “Isabel was not only an icon but a titan in our industry, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family during this time.”
We at AndNowUKnow extend our deepest condolences to Isabel’s family and friends during this time as well as to all those who knew him.