Nursery industry innovator Jack McConkey passed away Sept. 3, 2008 following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 86.
His association with the nursery industry began in 1964, when he purchased McLean Bulb Farms, which was just then starting to pioneer the development of plastic containers. He changed the name of the company to J.M. McConkey Co. Inc. and grew it into the largest nursery supplies distributor on the West Coast. The company has a service and sales presence in 13 Western states, with headquarters in Sumner, Wash., and a manufacturing plant in Garden Grove, Calif. The company also has major branches in Wilsonville, Ore.; Stockton, Calif.; and Garden Grove, Calif.
“We saw the opportunity to get into the business of helping growers produce more plants faster and more efficiently, and I knew I’d found my niche,” McConkey said in a 2004 interview.
The company later was known for pioneering decorative, colored plastic pots, and for being the first U.S. manufacturer to make wires for hanging baskets. McConkey also worked with Gordon Gleason and Gleason Industries to develop new horticultural equipment.
Read the full obituary on the OAN Web site.