Brother J. Gordon “Jiggs” Lent, Beta Phi 1949, an international agricultural businessman, died July 4, 2015, in Modesto, Calif., of cancer. He was 87.
He was born in Towanda, Pennsylvania on Dec. 30, 1927 and raised in Tucson. He excelled at sports and was a decorated athlete at Tucson High School. During elementary and high school, he and his brother Al raised turkeys, putting themselves through college with the proceeds from the business.
Brother Lent enrolled in the University of Arizona and pledged Sigma Chi in the fall 1945. He lettered in football and track as a freshman and was consul in his senior year. He and Brother Jack McDuff took a three-week road trip to Seattle to attend the Grand Chapter.
He was a member of Bobcats and the agricultural honorary Alpha Zeta his senior year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry and general agriculture. After graduation he earned a master’s degree in animal nutrition at the University of California, Berkeley.
He served in Korea with the U.S. Army in 1951-52. When he returned he worked for Arizona Feeds for 20 years in sales and management in Tucson and Phoenix. He also managed ranch projects in Hawaii for 16 years. He later joined Pacific Coast Farms, where he managed the agricultural portfolio for Hancock Insurance Co. until 1993 in Modesto. He served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Winegrape Growers for 10 years.
When he retired at age 65 he co-founded the Lent-Burden Farming Co. that developed more than 12,000 acres of almond and walnut orchards and wine grape vineyards in central California. A licensed real estate agent, he was responsible for land acquisition, investor funding, banking relationships and industry relations. He also was a consultant in Kenya, Iran, Mexico and Venezuela.
Brother Lent was married to Diane Steinheimer for 45 years, and had five daughters. He was predeceased by his wife and daughter Sally Ho. He is survived by a sister Barbara Lovett, daughters Lia Lent, Lori Jackson, Jane Hinrichs and Stacy Lent and nine grandchildren.
A memorial was held July 9, 2015 in Modesto. A memorial is being planned for Tucson in the fall.
All Honor to His Name.