Farm worker found dead

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - -- Richard Ma­honey

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.

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