1957 - 2006
Lester L. Woda was born January 29, 1957 in Omak to parents Lloyd and June Woda. He graduated from Okanogan High School and attended college at Eastern Washington University graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1980. Mr. Woda met and married Janice August 18, 1990 in Reno, Nevada. The couple decided to make their home in the Okanogan Valley where they raised their family.
Mr. Woda held a life-long passion for agriculture, dedicating his professional career to tree fruit production in Okanogan County. His first job in the industry was with his own company, L. Woda, Inc. where he turned close to forty acres from sagebrush into orchard. Followed by employment at Johnny Appleseed Orchard in Mallot where he worked for over twelve years as he continued to advance in the organization. Mr. Woda was the general manager of the 1,100 acre tree fruit orchard at the time of his death on July 18, 2006.
Mr. Woda was described as a man with the "energy of any three people" and an eternal optimist with a drive to accept and overcome any challenge. He had an adventurous spirit - maintaining his scuba and pilots licenses and enjoying time on his dirt bike. He treated Johnny Appleseed orchard as his own and treated his employees the way he wanted to be treated. Mr. Woda was a member of the Washington State Horticultural Association and annually attended its meeting of industry professionals in December.
While his passion was growing tree fruits, his love was his family. He expressed his love and admiration for his parents and sister, his wife, and his kids and grandson. One of his favorite things was to take his wife, Janice for a flight in his 172 Cessna. She was a reluctant passenger, but if she was 'armed' with a camera, it helped.
Mr. Woda is survived by his wife, Janice Woda, his parents, Lloyd and June Woda, his sister, Debra Pryor, his step-children, Bob Conn and Sally Knapp, his grandson, Carson, and many friends and co-workers that mourn his loss.
A scholarship fund, established by those who knew and loved Mr. Woda, awards an Okanogan County student pursuing a career in agriculture with a scholarship honoring the passion of Mr. Woda.