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Arthur Greathead Obituary

Arthur Stanley Greathead
Arthur Stanley Greathead

May 28, 1926 - August 14, 2020
Born in California
Resided in Carmel
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It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of Arthur “Art” Stanley Greathead. Born during the Great Depression to multi-generational Californian agriculture family, Arthur William and Margaret (Ish) Greathead. He spent his childhood along with his siblings; William Sands, Carroll Hammond and Ruth Eleanor, working the family apricot and prune ranch in San Jose, Ca. Always the studious and investigative mind he skipped 3rd grade attending Campbell grammar schools and graduating from Campbell Union High School in 1943.

At age 17 during WWII, Art convinced his parents to enroll him in the U.S. Navy for flight school. Art was activated on November 1, 1943 and spent his time training in Parkfield MO., Norte Dame, IN., and Chapel Hill NC. Art’s rank was “Aviation Cadet”. After his discharge from the Navy he remained on inactive duty status in the Navy Reserves until he received his Honorable Discharge in June 1947.

Between 1945 & 1946, Art worked on various prune, apricot, walnut and pear ranches in the Santa Clara Valley, most of which are gone due to urban sprawl. In 1946 he enrolled at UC Davis in the Agriculture Science/Plant Pathology Department where he would later return for Masters work. His passion for science and agriculture were combined and after graduation, Art began a 40-year career as a plant pathology specialist with UC Agricultural Extension Service in the Salinas Valley. As a Farm Advisor, Art developed and taught plant disease control procedures for lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomato, potatoes, peppers, strawberries and other row crops. In a California State Senate Resolution his “initiating a program to control lettuce mosaic that was threatening the iceberg lettuce industry … resulted in establishing the industry as strong and viable”. It was not uncommon for him to receive a frantic call by the large growers or a start up organic grower with a plant disease that they needed his expertise - thus his nick name “Lettuce Doctor”. His scientific contribution to the Salinas Valley, Central Coast and the world was recognized by the many awards and honors through out his exemplary career. He was praised not only for his knowledge in the industry but for his dedication, enthusiasm and collaboration. His goal was not simply the passing on of technical information but good communication and the development of an atmosphere of trust between all parties. He valued a healthy debate and always ended with “Well, you have given me something to think about!” After retirement he embarked on another 9 years of consulting.

His greatest love was Janet Joy Longden, born in the hospital room next to him; they grew up together attending church and social events. Then one day home from University he “noticed” her and they were married 3 months later! They were married 60 years until Janet’s death in 2009. Together they raised two children in San Benancio where there were always gardens growing, pets roaming and neighborhood children playing. He cherished being a husband and father. His deep compassion and values came from his faith and these guided him well in business and relationships. Together they filled their Passports with trips all over the world on business or pleasure. They were active in their church(s) especially the youth groups, many staying in touch by e-mails from all over the world.

Art sat on numerous National and International Plant Pathology and faith-based organizations boards. He had a rich voice and loved to sing - his signature hymn was “How Great Thou Art”, which he always sang with a twinkle in his eye! Art was always active, he was an avid runner up into his 70’s when he “slowed down” and walked his 3 miles every day until he was 90.

After Janet’s death, Art met Eleanor Ernest of Carmel at Sanctuary Bible Church of Carmel Valley. After a short courtship they were married in 2012 living in Carmel Valley until his death.

His legacy is those he loved and loved him. Art is survived by his daughter, Nancy Borino (Ken Feske) of Carmel, son Denis Greathead of Hollister and beloved grandson Jason Greathead of Hollister, wife Eleanor and many extended family members including, nieces and nephews and 3 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and first wife.

Due to the current pandemic restrictions only a private family gathering will be held.
The family asks that desired contributions be made to the donor’s favorite charity in Art’s memory. Please visit Struve and Laporte, http://www.struveandlaporte.com to leave your stories and correspondence.




Funeral Home
Struve and Laporte Funeral Home
41 West San Luis Street
Salinas, CA US 93901