Joe McRee

I met Joe in 1969 soon after I joined UF/IFAS.  His desk faced Bob Klingbiel’s in the Production Office.  I believe Joe grew up East of Eustis and his father was the grove manager for Britt Fruit Company in Winter Garden.  They had a large grove between Orange Ave. (Hwy 44) and Wolf Branch Road.  The McRees house was on the SE corner of Orange Ave. and Britt Road.  Behind the house Mr. McRee had a navel grove (maybe 5 or 10 acres).  I am sure Joe spent many hours in that grove!  I believe Joe was a UF Gator that went to work in the production department at Golden Gem.  He was Bob’s assistant and helped with pest management from monitoring to spray application.  He also was involved in the weed control program as well.  Fifteen thousand acres scattered over 6 or 8 counties required several Assistant Production Managers and Golden Gem had a fantastic group of them (Dixie Royal, Ed Faryna, Harold Straker as well as Joe and Bob).    
After the freezes Golden Gem had to cut back and Joe left his grove job to sell real estate.  He was not the only one to travel this road.  Over the years out paths would cross.  Joe and his wife, Joan, bought a home on Thrill Hill Road not far from his childhood home.  We would visit once in a while and get caught up.  Joe always had a warm look!  He had a gentle smile and quiet manner.  Always pleasant and sincerely interested in you!  For the last several years Joe dealt with Parkinson’s and was not able to attend our Mature Mentors lunch.  I stayed in touch through a call or note he would send.  Joe was another great guy that grew up in citrus; a part of our generation that worked hard, cared about family and friends, and always had a smile to share.  He was a fine gentleman of the highest order./IFAS.  His desk faced Bob Klingbiel’s in the Production Office.  I believe Joe grew up East of Eustis and his father was the grove manager for Britt Fruit Company in Winter Garden.  They had a large grove between Orange Ave. (Hwy 44) and Wolf Branch Road.  The McRees house was on the SE corner of Orange Ave. and Britt Road.  Behind the house Mr. McRee had a navel grove (maybe 5 or 10 acres).  I am sure Joe spent many hours in that grove!  I believe Joe was a UF Gator that went to work in the production department at Golden Gem.  He was Bob’s assistant and helped with pest management from monitoring to spray application.  He also was involved in the weed control program as well.  Fifteen thousand acres scattered over 6 or 8 counties required several Assistant Production Managers and Golden Gem had a fantastic group of them (Dixie Royal, Ed Faryna, Harold Straker as well as Joe and Bob).