1897 - 1994
William “Bill” Luce was one of four children raised by William and Celia Luce on a five-acre apple orchard outside West Boylston, Massachusetts. He came to Washington State in 1920 after graduating from the Massachusetts Agricultural College and found his first job at the Birchmount Orchard of the American Fruit Growers in Wenatchee. He went on to become a horticultural investigator for Chelan County and later worked as a horticultural consultant for the Earl Fruit Company and Puget Sound Power and Light. In 1942 he was appointed tree fruit cooperative extension agent in Yakima, a position he held until his retirement in 1962. He wrote for various publications including the Good Fruit Grower and Better Fruit.
Mr. Luce was a charter member of the Yakima Pomological Club and helped form the Northwest Dwarf Tree Association. After his retirement, he worked as an orchard consultant and columnist for the Good Fruit Grower. From 1952 to 1968 he had a three acre hobby and demonstration orchard in Yakima. In 1972 he published a book entitled Washington State Tree Fruit Industry… A Brief History.
Mr. Luce was awarded the American Pomological Society’s Wilder Medal in 1962, and served as president of the Washington State Horticultural Association in 1964.
At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife Barbara.
The Bill Luce Memorial scholarship fund was created by the Washington State Horticultural Association Research and Scholarship Foundation in 1990. Scholarships from this fund are awarded to students enrolled in Washington State University’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape, pursuing a career in the tree fruit industry.