By Melissa Carll, Marketing Manager
The Co-op was saddened this past spring to announce the passing of several long-time Co-op members. In memory of Wilson Pratt, Joel Harris, Anita Witten, and Sandra Vincent, here are some recollections of these members.
In the comments section below, readers may also share kind words or memories of these members if they care to do so.
The Co-op has many friendly faces popping in and out of the store all day long. Some of those faces are only seen once in a blue moon, others more often. But Wilson Pratt was a dedicated shopper, or perhaps we should say "snacker," at the Co-op. Wilson ran his own IT business in town, and pre-COVID often would stop in in the morning for coffee. If he wasn't there in the morning, he certainly would be by lunch time for a cold drink, a snack bar, bag of chips, piece of fruit, and a bowl of soup. He, without complaint, enjoyed every soup that was offered. Wilson was also served the Co-op by being our IT guy for the store. Usually within 20 minutes of calling him with some question about the computers ("they won't turn on, the printer won't print, etc), he would show up and help us get the office up and running. We couldn't have asked for a more prompt person to give aid when needed. We'll miss his conversations about where he biked over the weekend, or what trail he hiked most recently, and we certainly will miss his tech services.
Happy, dedicated, compassionate, and just simply a wonderful soul, Joel worked at the co-op for the past 6 years or more (likely even ten)! He enjoyed working at the register where his easy-going personality made shoppers and staff alike smile. Joel always had a story about his sons, and kind words about his wife, Paula. Joel, too, was an avid lover of the fish program. Without fail, if fresh squid was on the list, that's what he would order! It was such an honor to work with and spend time with Joel. The world doesn't often meet such a kind and wonderful person, and Joel was truly a gentleman.
Anita was one of the earliest members of the Co-op. She joined when she and her husband moved to the area over 40 years ago. Anita had a keen eye for editing, was an avid reader, and outspoken proponent of good food. We frequently would find notes written on pieces of paper around the store suggesting improvements and comments in the comment box. She sometimes would drop off a photocopied article from the New York Times, or any from a myriad of publications, about health and nutrition, recipes and the like. Anita's determined, yet conscious, spirit will be missed.
One of the quirkiest, but completely endearing, personalities to shop at the Co-op, Sandy was full of heart. She was an artist, and showed many of her works in shows in Saratoga. Sandy frequently ordered in bulk (with a penchant for Amy's canned baked beans), and absolutely loved the fish program. She didn't use the computer and would call each week to see what was on the fish list. After giving her the run down on what was available, there would always be an excited, "Woooow! You've got all that? I'll try..." She was a brave fish eater, willing to try whole fish that others would balk at eating, and she also let us know each week when the fish was exceptionally good, or when even her cats wouldn't eat it (we hope that's more due to how it was cooked and not quality). She was always full of praise for the store, a real cheerleader, and everything the Co-op was striving to do.