The following statement was issued by Messick’s nephew, Kurt:
Long-time industry legend, Darrell Messick (1930-2012), passed away due to natural causes in Saratoga, Calif., on Aug. 13, 2012 at the age of 81. Darrell spent nearly 60 years in the horticultural industry. His contribution and impact on our industry was immense and far-reaching throughout the world.
Darrell spent the first half of his career working for George J. Ball Company. The long time vice president of ‘Ball,’ he was a driving force in the company’s explosive growth of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. One of the industries’ top salesmen early on, he evolved into a real industry leader. He had a huge impact in developing the West Coast azalea industry, was a major factor in the Easter lily bulb business and among other areas he had considerable involvement in the bare root rose industry.
Always dedicated to the industry and the development of young horticulturalists through education, he was one of the founders of the DuPage Horticultural School. He and Carl Ball conceived the idea of DuPage during a long flight returning from Europe. Later, after leaving Ball, he founded his own successful national brokerage company, Messick Company, that continues today.
A real innovator who took great pride in helping others to succeed, he influenced hundreds, if not thousands, in our industry over his storied career.
The celebration of Darrell’s life will be held at Saratoga Federated Church in the Sanctuary, 20390 Park Place in Saratoga on Sept. 8, 2012 at 3 p.m. A reception will be held immediately following the service at the Saratoga Foothill Club, 20399 Park Place in Saratoga from 4-6 p.m.