Farm worker found dead
Just Farms workers and owners are mourning the sudden death of a long-time employee who was considered to be a member of the family.
“He was like a brother to me,” says Marc Just, referring to Luiz Lopez, who was found dead in his bed August 2.
Mr. Lopez, who had just turned 50, “went to sleep healthy and did not wake up,” relates Mr. Just.
Mr. Lopez had worked for the past 15 years at the Alexandria farm operated by Mr. Just and his wife, JoAnne.
He was one of seven seasonal workers from Mexico who put in seven-month stints at the fresh produce operation.
An autopsy has concluded Mr. Lopez, who was married and had three children, died of natural causes.
“It was a tragic end to a life,” said Mr. Just. “He died peacefully in his sleep,” he said, adding that prior to his death, nobody knew if that Mr. Lopez had any health problems.
Mr. Lopez was one a group of seasonal workers who have spent most of the year at the Just farm. “We are like a band of brothers. It feels like we lost a brother,” said Mr. Just.
Like his fellow workers, Mr. Lopez sent most of the money he earned here back home to Mexico. He had two grown sons and a teenaged daughter. Mr. Lopez had put his two sons through university with the money he made at Just Farms.
After learning of the death, members of the local Mennonite community held a ceremony for the deceased, singing hymns in honour of Mr. Lopez.
A funeral will be held in his homeland.