In Memoriam: Gene Milstein

March 13, 2024
IONS Communications Team

It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Gene Milstein, one of our Circle and Legacy Society members. Gene departed this world on February 13, 2024, leaving behind a legacy that will forever shape the landscape of the seed industry and his employees’ lives.

Born October 10, 1942, Gene embarked on a remarkable journey that began at 23 years of age when he founded Applewood Seed Company. With passion, dedication, and a profound interest in the industry, Gene cultivated a business that became synonymous with excellence, innovation, and sustainability. His leadership transformed Applewood Seed Company into a trailblazer, setting new standards for quality and environmental stewardship.

August 2015 – Gene and Dee Milstein commemorate the 50th anniversary of Applewood Seed Co. with employees, friends, and the local community

Beyond his professional achievements, Gene was a cherished friend, mentor, family member, and philanthropist. He and his wife, Dee, often donated seeds to IONS to send to our members. They were also devoted supporters of the mission and vision of AfricAid. Gene and Dee were recognized as the 2017 Art & Soul honorees due to their commitment to AfricAid over their many years of philanthropic giving. Dee also wrote a book titled, Water, Light & Love: A Guide to Growing Plants from Seeds.

Gene’s warmth, wisdom, and kindness touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him. Gene’s memory will live on in the company he founded, the seeds he planted, the relationships he nurtured, and the positive changes he advocated for in the world. The IONS family will deeply miss his inspiration and vision.

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