In Remembrance: A Final Tribute to Our Toopsy

Friends and fans of our own Diane Toops say good-bye.

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We thought we had written the final word in November about the passing of our beloved News and Trends Editor on October 31. Maybe we had, but not the rest of you. Emails and letters have come in from many of Diane Toops' friends and fans. Folllowing are just a few.

We are saddened to hear about the passing of Diane Toops. We so much enjoyed working with her over the years. She was so gracious, enthusiastic and fun to interact with. Somehow she always had a minute to listen no matter how busy she was and she made everything more interesting with that extra little spark of excitement. She was kind and responsive, a lovely person to know even at a distance. On behalf of Deborah Payne, Tom Payne and the U. S. Blueberry Council, we send our condolences to you and her fellow workers at the publication.
Jeannette Ferrary
Thomas J. Payne Market Development
U. S. Highbush Blueberry Council

I just received my November issue of Food Processing and was saddened to hear of Diane’s passing. I had the very good fortune of working with Diane from time to time and I always enjoyed meeting her in the booth at various shows. Not enough good things can be said about her, and while certainly not as deeply, I share your sense of loss.
Nick Manley
Marketing Communications Manager; Buhler Aeroglide; Cary, N.C.

Sad news about Diane. What a shame. I got to Putman Media [our parent company] shortly before Toops in the late 1980s. It is fair to say the she was part of the female wave (along with Mary Ellen Kuhn, Lib Brewster and Joan Holleran) that transformed the company’s (as well the industry’s) food books. I loved working with her and running into her at shows and conferences after I left Putman. I know you will never be able to replace her as she was truly one of a kind.
Rex Davenport
Director of Marketing; Indiana University; Bloomington, Ind.

I was shocked to hear of Diane’s untimely death. I’ve been in this business since 1954 but have never respected and liked to work more with any editor than Diane. A true lady and a true professional and a true death in the family.
Bob Hoebee
Sr. Vice President & Partner; Studio 21 Advertising; Forked River, N.J.

It was with great sadness I learned that Ms. Toops died. I met her as I guided her and Kantha Shelke on the exhibition floor of SIAL Montreal in April 2003. I remember a very warm person, fully willing to comment and share her knowledge about food processing and innovation. [During a drive to the airport] we had the opportunity to discuss what she saw about traditional or small-scale Quebec food products, and she gave me a fair opinion without any indulgence. But she told me then that she observed very interesting opportunities. The world of food processing is now an orphan of a major reference. My deepest condolences to all your staff and Ms. Toops’ loved ones.
Luc Côté
Senior analyst and project coordinator for food processing
Quebec Dept. of Agriculture

Diane was truly one of a kind and a valued friend and business associate. It’s difficult to imagine that the health of such a fun and vivacious individual could decline so quickly. Diane and I share the same Greek heritage and would often exchange recipes and anecdotes. She was such a joy to talk to and made everything a little more fun. She even sent one of my sons a teddy bear when he was born.
Patti Bianchi
President, LimeLight Resources, Oswego, Ill.

Diane was my friend, my mentor, my guide, my advisor and one of the only people who I ever thought really understood me. I am devastated by her passing, I will miss her madly – she will be with me forever.
Suzy Badaracco
President; Culinary Tides; Tualatin, Ore.

This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Food Processing Magazine.

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