Applewood Seed Co. Announces the Passing of Beloved Founder and Leader, Gene Milstein

October 2006 – Gene Milstein and Norman Poppe proudly promote Applewood Seed Co.

It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Gene Milstein, the founder of Applewood Seed Company. Gene departed this world on February 13, 2024, leaving behind a legacy that will forever shape the landscape of the seed industry and his employees’ lives.

Born October 28, 1942, Gene embarked on a remarkable journey that began at 23 years of age when he founded Applewood Seed Company. With passion, dedication, and a profound interest in the industry, Gene cultivated a business that became synonymous with excellence, innovation, and sustainability. His leadership transformed Applewood Seed Company into a trailblazer, setting new standards for quality and environmental stewardship.

Gene’s commitment to the company he built was unwavering, and his commitment to the company’s nearly 60 years of success lasted until his final days.

August 2015 – Gene and Dee Milstein commemorate the 50th anniversary of Applewood Seed Co. with employees, friends, and the local community

In 2020, demonstrating his commitment to the legacy he had built, Gene made the heartfelt decision to pass the torch to the very people who had contributed to the success of Applewood Seed Company – its dedicated employees. He then began the transfer of his ownership of Applewood Seed to the employees to become a 100% employee-owned organization. This act of empowerment and trust was a testament to Gene’s belief in the strength of collaboration and the enduring spirit of the company he loved.

Gene Milstein’s impact on the seed industry will be remembered for generations to come. His innovative spirit, leadership, and dedication to the environment have left an indelible mark on Applewood Seed Company, the employee-owners, and the broader community.

Beyond his professional achievements, Gene was a cherished friend, mentor, family member, and philanthopist. His warmth, wisdom, and kindness touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him. Gene’s memory will live on in the company he founded, the relationships he nurtured, and the positive change he inspired.

We extend our deepest condolences to Gene’s surviving wife, Dee Milstein, his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time. As we mourn the loss of our leader, let us also celebrate the extraordinary life of Gene Milstein and the enduring legacy he leaves behind. May his spirit continue to inspire us to act with purpose, compassion, and growth in everything we do.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any of Gene’s beloved organizations such as Denver Botanic Gardens, World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. Details for Gene’s Celebration of Life will be communicated at a later time.

With heartfelt sympathy,

The Applewood Seed Company Family

August 2020 – Gene and Dee Milstein celebrate the transition of Applewood Seed Co. to an employee-owned company in the company’s trial gardens

Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success & love.
It will come back to you in abundance.
This is the law of nature.
—Steve Maraboli

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