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RIP, Dr Fanie van Vuuren

It is with great sadness that we learnt that Dr Fanie van Vuuren has passed away on 7 July 2022, at the age of 81.  He has been battling recurring cancer for some time…  Oom Fanie is survived by Tannie Bets, their son, two daughters and their grandchildren.  Our sincere condolences are with the family; and also to all the friends and colleagues of this gentle giant, who was a mentor to so many of us.

Fanie dedicated 57 years of his working life serving the citrus industry of South Africa in the field of citrus virology, and was internationally acclaimed by his peers.  Amongst many awards, he received special recognition from Citrus Research International, who named the Citrus Improvement Scheme facilities at CRI in Nelspruit the “Dr Fanie van Vuuren – Citrus Improvement Scheme Laboratory and Nucleus Block” on 1 June 2017.

A telling extract from this Special Recognition: “Apart from Fanie’s research and service contributions, many colleagues in industry are proud and honoured to have had Fanie van Vuuren as a mentor.  To his peers and protégés, his example of Christian values, gentle humility, impeccable work ethic, scientific discipline and unwavering integrity is perhaps Fanie’s greatest legacy.  Those who worked with Fanie would all attest to this contagion of goodness.”

I was blessed to be able to have a conversation with Fanie shortly before his passing.  I thanked him for the privilege of working with him, and for him being such a good mentor to us.  Fanie humbly said “It was but my job… it was a pleasure”.  He asked me to pass on his greetings…

Dr. Fanie van Vuuren with his wife, Bets

Paul Fourie [PhD(Agric); Pr.Sci.Nat]

Manager: Citrus Improvement Scheme

Citrus Research International

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