Welcome to Virginia Gold Orchard
"As crunchy as an apple, as juicy as a melon!"
With deep sadness, we share the news that Paul S. Estabrook, the founder and proprietor of Virginia Gold Orchard, passed away on May 22, 2017 at his home on Fancy Hill in Natural Bridge, Virginia. He was 80 years old.
Paul lived a long, full life. He was born in Massachusetts, to Dorothy and Rolland Estabrook. He grew up in Saugus, Massachusetts and as a young man spent much of his free time teaching himself how to repair and build motorcycle engines. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in Aeronautical Technology. Paul spent the next 20 years working around the world as a supervising engineer for United Technologies, General Electric and Westinghouse. It was while living in South Korea in the 1970s that he met his wife, Youngsuk. They married in 1976 in Seoul and have two children together, Paul “PJ” and Valery. In 1989 Paul and his family moved to Rockbridge County, and together with his wife opened Virginia Gold Orchard, the much-beloved Asian pear farm in Natural Bridge.
Paul was gifted with a technical ability and brilliance that allowed him to excel in many different fields of work. However, it was to the land of Rockbridge County, Virginia and his trees that he devoted himself for the last 28 years of his life. He lived to share this love with others. Many of us have memories of him standing on Main Street during the Rockbridge Community Festival, calling out to try one of his amazing pears. He delighted in learning how many people grew to love the fruit, as they now share the pears with their own friends and family.
Over eight decades Paul's humor, generosity and wisdom touched many lives. He was a loving husband and father with a curious mind and a hardworking soul. He will be intensely missed by a large, extended network of family and friends.
A memorial service will be scheduled to take place in the coming week. In lieu of flowers or other gifts the family asks that contributions be made to the Paul S. Estabrook Memorial Fund. The goal of the fund is to help cover the costs associated with funeral services and facilitate next steps relating to the future of the orchard.
We thank all of the extended community that has supported Virginia Gold Orchard over the past 25 years. Paul's love for his customers was perhaps only surpassed by his love for the fruit he grew for them. We also thank the wonderful staff of the Rockbridge Area Hospice who worked so hard to bring comfort to Paul in his last days.
With sincere gratitude and appreciation,
Paul ("P.J.") Estabrook
THANK YOU to everyone who helped make our first Tree Sale a success - Here are some care tips for how to plant and care for your young trees.
Virginia Gold Orchard is a family-run farm dedicated to growing the very best tasting Asian pears.
Asian pears are unique, but what makes Virginia Gold Orchard special is the fact that its pears are considered by many to be the best they have ever tasted. Many other pears - often shipped in from outside the United States - are picked green, days or weeks before they are truly ripe! We always pick our pears at the peak of ripeness, allowing the warm Virginia sun to give our pears their full, unique flavor. We then lovingly pack each box ourselves here at the orchard, by hand, to ensure only the very best pears reach you.