Memorial for Tony this Sunday April 15th

We invite all of Tony’s friends, family and supporters to attend his Celebration of Life this Sunday April 15th,  at 11:00am in the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC. The event will be followed by a community potluck lunch. Please see Tony’s obituary page here for a map of parking as it is limited.

Also, we still welcome you to  post a special memory of Tony. All posts will be saved on our site for future reading. You can also find many loving memories of Tony posted on his CaringBridge site and the CFSA’s page honoring Tony with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

  1. sara kleese says:

    Then consider me your brother’s cousin. I’ll be randomly planting native fruit trees and berry bushes in abanoned places America’s homeless camp.

  2. Patti Patti says:

    Happy birthday and homegoing, Tony! So glad you were a part of the tapestry of my sustainable farming journey~ cheers to you. Your smile and essence will be missed.

  3. Chris Smith says:

    Among so many things, I remember speaking with Tony about a high-elevation southeastern potato farming operation; a cover-crop and grain project that could work in the southeast; and most recently The People’s Seed. You only have to look at what Tony achieved to see the energy, the ideas, the wisdom, the vision. Tony was and is an inspiration.

  4. Craig LeHoullier says:

    It is with great sadness that I found out that Tony is gone from us here on earth. A few years ago, he found out about a breeding project that I was leading, payed a visit to our house, tasted tomatoes, and an unexpected, sudden friendship developed. We were in contact now and then about some exciting collaborative ideas. It was clear that through our discussions, Tony cared deeply about so many things, and his concern that those involved in creating new things to grow received fair credit and compensation really moved me. Though Tony won’t be here physically for future work, his ideas, my memory of our brief meetings, will live on, as I share with others his ideas and hopes. To Tony’s family – you are in my thoughts, and I hope you find peace in your memories of a genuinely wonderful person.

  5. Andrew Branan says:

    Tony made me a gift of some butternut squash from seed grown on his Edgecombe farm, which squash I re-gifted to several folks, including a farmer who saved the seeds for planting back in Louisburg, full circle… was able to tell him this before he left

  6. J. Bee says:

    Thank you Tony for the many gifts you shared with so many, me included.
    I have some of the “Tony’s Siberian Iris” <> that I gathered from Tony’s first farm in Louisburg, NC about 25 years ago that I have planted and gifted far and wide since. I will be bringing plenty to Tony’s memorial on April 15 to spread once again if anyone would like to have some of their own to share, or let me know an address and I will send you some

    Love On !

    • Cathy Wright says:

      I would dearly love some of those Iris seeds. I remember when Tony built his place on that farm all those many years ago. In my youthful ignorance at the time, I recall thinking it was a bit crazy thing to do. Now, in hindsight, I can see that it was his visionary spirit taking root (quite literally.) Tony was a beautiful person who shaped me and my life more than I will ever be able to fully articulate or even understand. I have so many precious memories I cherish, thanks to him and that determined spirit.

    • Anne Gearhart says:

      I would love to have some of the Siberian iris seeds. I am a cousin of Tony’s and live in Chicago.
      My address is
      1901 S Calumet
      Unit 1402
      Chicago IL 60616

    • Sara Kleese-Wingate says:

      Thank you for bringing Tony’s Siberian Iris offspring to the life celebration. I was able to get a couple pots (which included a tiny violet baby) to bring home to Georgia with me. I’m one of Tony’s cousins on the Kleese side, & while I have many pictures of he and I growing up together, many memories of fun adventures, I’m looking forward to watching the plants grow and flower and reproduce and gift to others in his memory.

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