The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 7, 2013

Everett F. “Ed” Mashburn, 82, Sunbury


The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — Everett F. “Ed” Mashburn, 82, of Fegley Road, formerly of Northumberland, passed away on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

He was born Sept. 3, 1930, in Chester, S.C., the son of the late Everett F. and Katherine (Robinson) Mashburn. On Sept. 2, 1967, he married the former Carol A. Biddle, who preceded him in death on March 1, 1992.

Ed was a 1947 graduate of Chester High School and later attended George Washington University, where he studied biology and chemistry. He then joined the Army in 1949 and served as a medic in the Korean War in 1950. He then transferred to the Air Force, where he worked as a civilian before beginning a career in the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1957.

He worked for the bureau until he retired after 22 years in 1981 as a hospital administrator. At that time, he also retired from the Army Reserves after 22 years. In 1996, Ed retired from Northumberland County, where he worked as a data coordinator.

Upon returning to Pennsylvania in 1981, Ed began committing time to his passion for gardening and fruit growing. Over the next few years, he began experimenting with grafting techniques and growing rare fruits known as ribes (currants and gooseberries).

He joined NAFEX (North American Fruit Explorers), the Backyard Fruit Growers Association and TIRA (The International Ribes Association), of which he was president and traveled throughout the United States for speaking engagements on currants and gooseberries as he was known as an expert on this subject. He also taught grafting seminars for the Backyard Fruit Growers Association.

As a member of these organizations, he wrote countless articles for NAFEX and TIRA, mostly related to the culture of fruit, most often ribes.

He joined the Penn State Extension, where he along with Dr. Jim Temple generated the idea for the first Northumberland County Fair. They were able to organize and put on the first Northumberland County Fair in 2001. He was the first fair board president and was instrumental in writing and obtaining grants, securing funding, advertising and obtaining donations from local businesses and organizing the first several years of the fair.

He was a faithful member of Christ United Methodist Church, Northumberland.

His fondest memories were of time spent with his family, especially grandchildren, and in his garden-orchard.

He is survived by one son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Mara Sulouff, of Kutztown; five daughters and sons-in-law, Sherry and Galen Harvey, of Weikert, Judy and Michael Wilt, of Sunbury, Kathy and Jack Esworthy, of Roanoke, Va., Jan and Mike Flewelling, of Houston, Texas, and Wendy and Roger Wiest, of Sunbury; 13 grandchildren, Cassidy Walker, Brandon and Monica Wilt, Brett, Jamie, Jack and Ty Esworthy, Kimberly Moyer, Matthew Flewelling, Jessica Zapata, Reagan, Gweneth and Skyler Wiest; and one sister, Betty, of Naples, Fla.

Friends and family may visit from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Christ United Methodist Church, Front and King streets, Northumberland, where a memorial service will follow at 7 with the Rev. James E. Lewis officiating.

Military honors will be accorded by American Legion Post 44, Northumberland.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ed’s memory may be made to his church, Christ United Methodist Church, Front and King streets, Northumberland, PA 17857.

Arrangements are by the Joseph W. Epler Funeral Home, 210 King St., Northumberland.