Farming Rural 18

James Fruth

October 28, 2020


James Fruth, age 79, of Pequot Lakes, MN passed away unexpectedly October 28, 2020. Jim was born on July 6, 1941 in rural St. Cloud, MN to Martin and Frances Fruth. After college and a stint in the Air Force, Jim owned a Rubber Stamp business in downtown St. Paul. He then moved to Northern Minnesota and started up a maple syrup sugar bush business on 5,000 acres for several years before returning to school to further his knowledge and passion for horticulture at St. Cloud State University, graduating with degrees in Botany and Geology. He worked with Kimberly Clark for a few years, where he identified and sourced the specialized plant fiber that was instrumental in the development of their ultra-soft tissues. He then spent a few years indulging his passion for geology in the central valley of California before ultimately settling in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. It was there he established his core business, Brambleberry Farm, pursuing what became his lifelong passion of horticulture, doggedly raising and developing unique, hybrid varieties of berries and fruit not commonly grown in northern Minnesota. He was best known for the peculiarly prolific and hardy varieties of black raspberries he developed, his propagation of fruit and berry seedlings he sold nationwide and his various jams, jellies, honey and syrups he would sell at local businesses, craft shows and farmers’ markets.

James had a kind-hearted, generous soul. He cherished his independence and hard-working spirit, hoping to instill such values into his beloved daughter, Roseann. While he faced many struggles through his life, he never allowed himself to grow callous or skeptical of those around him. He believed above all in the kindness and greatness of the human spirit, and he leaves behind many beloved friends and family. Jim had a remarkable capacity to pursue his passions with energy and zeal and was equally as eager to share his boundless knowledge with everyone he met. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Roseann (Marc) Cherenson, grandchildren Alexandra and Adam Cherenson, siblings Roman Fruth, Jeanette (Gerald) Trobec, Rosemary Willett and Dan Fruth, nieces Debra (Jeff) Gebhardt and Bonnie (Brad) Weske, nephew Bob (Pam) Trobec and great-nephew Joseph Trobec, great-nieces Heather (Jesse) Zamora and family, Jenn (Chris) Hackett and family, and Erica (Justin) Walz. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frances and Martin Fruth and nephew Jeff Trobec.

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