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Saratoga Patriarch Vince Garrod Dies

Beloved family man, farmer, storyteller, school trustee remembered for his establishment of Garrod Farms riding stables.

Saratoga patriarch Vince Garrod, the third-generation Garrod Farms son, died Dec. 30 at the age of 94.

Garrod, who served for nearly three decades as a Saratoga Union School District trustee, ran Garrod Farms, 22647 Garrod Rd., with the help of his family.

On the business website, it states the stables will be closed on Sunday, Jan. 13 "in honor of our father, mentor, and friend."

A celebration of life is scheduled on that day at 2 p.m. at the Saratoga Federated Church, 20390 Park Place. There will be a reception following the gathering at the Joan Pisani Community Center, 19655 Allendale Ave.

The Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards website says the Garrod family began involvement with California agriculture and open space in 1893, purchasing lands from the Mount Eden Orchard and Vineyard Company.

Garrod was born Aug. 16 1918, and according to friends and family, left an indelible impact on the Santa Clara Valley through his gifts of open space, community involvement and being a loving husband and father.

He attended Los Gatos High School, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo and UC Berkeley.

He married Jane Whiteman, whom he met in elementary school, and settled in Saratoga, raising six children.

His family grew prunes and apricots for 70 years, and when the valley began to change, he led the farm in a new direction, establishing the riding stables.

In 1970, wine grapes were planted and the family ranching operation grew to include 28 acres of wine grapes. The winery Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards was established, according to his obituary.

Garrod was Saratoga Business Person of the Year Bill Cooper's mother Louise Garrod's younger brother, his uncle. "He was a family man. He grew up here. Agriculture was his life and he went to Saratoga School, on Oak Street," Cooper said.

"He returned to the farm and followed in his father's (Ralph Vince Garrod) footsteps," Cooper said, explaining the elder Garrod wrote a column for the local paper. Those stories were later published in a book titled Saratoga Stories, which is now out of print.

"Like his father, he was a storyteller," Cooper said. "Growing up in Saratoga and in Santa Clara Valley when it was apricots, prunes and cherries, the Valley of Hearts Delight. Whenever we had a function at the ranch, Vince would always have a story or two or four to tell."

He's survived by wife Jane Whiteman Garrod, his six children: Peter, Tim and Jan Garrod, Victoria Bosworth, Emma Seely and Christina Cagliostro, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

His parents were Ralph Vince and Emma Garrod; they had three children. Vince Garrod was the middle child. His siblings were Louise and Dick Garrod.

Donations can be made to POST, 222 High Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301. Details: 650-854-7696, www.openspacetrust.org.

Sharmaine Nunes January 09, 2013 at 05:13 PM
What a loss for the Garrod and Cooper families in particular, as well as the Saratoga area in general. My heartfelt sympathies go out to you... Mr. Garrod left behind a very rich legacy that continues to this day. Sharmaine Nunes
Michelle McIntyre January 09, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I brought some business associates to a wine tasting event there a few years ago and Vince Garrod signed the bottles of wine that we purchased. He was a really nice person and a great tasting room host. He lived a long life which needs to be celebrated.

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