John Stanger, one of the founders of Wada Farms Marketing Group, died April 9 after a battle with bone marrow cancer.

He was 70.



Stanger was vice president of marketing for the Idaho Falls, Idaho-based potato grower. He and his son, Kevin Stanger, senior vice president of sales and marketing, partnered with Albert Wada, president, to form Wada Farms Marketing Group just before the turn of the century, according to a company statement.

Wada Farms principal dies 
 John Stanger

John Stanger had worked in the potato business since 1961, when he joined his father in the family potato business, Idaho Bonded Produce, Idaho Falls. He worked for the company until 1989, when he sold it to J.R. Simplot Co., Boise. He stayed on as fresh marketing director for Simplot until 1996, when he left to establish his own company, ProFresh LLC. With ProFresh, he had marketing rights for all potatoes and onions packed under the Dole label, according to the company statement. He helped establish the Wada Farms Marketing Group a few years later.

During his career in the potato business, John Stanger was also active in the industry as a whole. He served on the board of directors of the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association, as well as on several committees, according to the statement. He served on the board of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, and in 2005, he received the Russet Aristocrat Award from the Idaho Falls-based association for his contributions to the Idaho potato industry. He was also a member of the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission.

Funeral services were April 13 at the Taylor Mountain Stake Center in Idaho Falls. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Idaho Youth Ranch or Waldonstrom’s Foundation, www.iwmf.com. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.com.