Not even a lightning strike can deter this remarkable 88-year-old from arriving at the farm promptly at 5 am every morning. His unwavering devotion to the orchard, the simple pleasure of breathing in the fresh open air, and the tactile connection to the earth fuel his happiness and motivation.

Fidel has been a dedicated member of the FICO team since 1965, with only a brief hiatus in the 70s when he worked for a roofing company in Tucson. Even during that time, his loyalty to our organization remained steadfast. Today, his role is to ensure that sprinklers damaged during routine operations are promptly identified and repaired—a seemingly simple yet crucial task for the well-being of our trees and the farm’s overall efficiency.

He possesses an agreeable and collaborative spirit, willing to work with any manager. His philosophy is straightforward: pay attention, give your best effort, and avoid complaints.

Fidel holds fond memories of the Walden family and expresses heartfelt gratitude to founder Keith Walden, who always ensured that employees had the support they needed.

Despite life’s challenges, including the loss of his wife Frances after 52 years of marriage, heart and brain surgeries, and even being struck by lightning, Fidel remains resilient. He attributes his strength to the guidance of heavenly angels rather than defiance.

Like an oak tree, Fidel stands strong. He is grateful for his health and has found a new life partner, Elvia, with whom he resides in Rio Rico, Arizona. Fidel generously shares his wisdom for a contented life: “Offer gratitude to God daily for the gift of life.”


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