Mid-Columbia Research and Extension Center postharvest physiologist Yan Wang has died


Yan Wang in his laboratory at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River. Photo by TJ Mullinax of Good Fruit Grower.

Yan Wang, tree fruit postharvest physiologist at Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, died April 27. He was 51.

Yan was born in Shandong province, China, in 1965. He graduated from Shangdong Agricultural University in 1986 with a degree in horticulture. He studied for his master’s in horticulture from Zhejiang University while living and working at the Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forest Sciences. He received his degree in 1989, and also that year he was married to Caixia Li.

In 1995 Yan became a visiting scholar at the University of Georgia. In 2001 he earned his doctorate there in post-harvest physiology; also that year his daughter, Sarah, was born.

He worked for nine years at JBT Food Tech in Riverside, California, and then joined OSU’s Department of Horticulture in 2010 as a research scientist at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MCAREC) in Hood River. His work focused on enhancing quality, storability and marketability of pears and sweet cherries grown in the Pacific Northwest.

“Yan was a top-notch scientist who was widely respected by his professional colleagues,” said MCAREC director Steve Castagnoli. “He was well liked by all because of his kind, thoughtful and gentle nature.”

Yan is survived by his wife Caixia Li, daughter Sarah Wang, father Zuokai Wang, and brother Gian Wang and family. He was preceded in death by his mother, Wenmin Zhang.

Well-wishers may contribute to Sarah’s college fund. Mail contributions to Anderson Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031.

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