David Gray, Co-President of Bushwick Potato Commission, Passes Away
FARMINGDALE, NY - The industry has lost one of our own and while we honor the loss, we also celebrate the life. It is with heavy hearts that the Gray family shares the passing of industry veteran David Gray of Bushwick Commission Co., Inc., and Farmingdale, New York, who passed away on Friday, July 3, 2020, in Delray Beach, FL, after courageously battling cancer. David was 81 years old.
The passionate produce advocate was the Co-President of Bushwick Commission Co., Inc., and a potato industry veteran for over 60 years. David began his career in September 1960 at the age of 22. From the beginning, David’s dedication and devotion to the industry he loved were strong. He joined together with his brother-in-law, Jack Hyman, and father-in-law, the late Jack Koondel, to bring Bushwick to a new level in growing, packing, and shipping premium potatoes. David was part of the third generation at Bushwick, along with Jack Hyman, to strengthen the company’s local growing operations and distribution to satisfy the needs of their customers all over the country.
“My Dad, David, really loved the produce and potato business, developing such strong relationships with our growers, customers, and transportation teams. He leaves us with such a proud legacy that I feel so lucky to be a part of. As a member of the fourth generation now at Bushwick, I will honor and follow in my Dad’s footsteps, ones who embody providing our customers with the same level of honesty and integrity that he encouraged throughout our company,” Ken Gray, David’s son and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Bushwick Commission, expresses.
That passion and commitment carried through many of David’s roles and efforts in the industry. He was a lifelong member of the Eastern Produce Council and active in many philanthropic causes such as the annual Cerebral Palsy Farmer’s Market Food Drive and Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) breast cancer research.
“My Dad taught me a strong work ethic at an early age and pushed me to work hard and achieve. Qualities such as leadership, strength, courage, compassion, empathy for others, the meaning of kindness, and giving to others who are less fortunate, are just a handful of the gifts he bestowed on us all. He taught me what mattered most in the produce industry: Your word was your bond. Dad took immense pride in developing and maintaining lifelong relationships throughout the industry. He was well respected and truly cared about people, their families, birthdays, and joyous moments in all their lives,” Ken shares.
We offer our deepest condolences to David’s family, friends, and all those who have been touched by his life. Thank you for allowing us to honor him.