- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Chuck Ingels, longtime UCCE advisor in Sacramento County, lost his battle with cancer Aug. 12.
Ingels joined ANR in 1989 as a tree and vine information analyst for the statewide Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program in Davis. In 1996, he became a UC Cooperative Extension advisor for Sacramento County, specializing in tree crops, grapes and environmental horticulture. He actively supported the UC Master Gardeners, giving workshops on urban horticulture. He gave a workshop on espalier fruit trees as recently as May.
His research and extension focused on IPM, evaluation of sustainable products and practices, water conservation and deficit irrigation, home orchards and vineyards, sustainable landscaping, alternative turfgrass species, and tree training, pruning and grafting.
“Chuck's absence leaves an enormous void in all of us who knew and worked with him,” said Morgan Doran, UC Cooperative Extension director and livestock and natural resources advisor for the Capitol Corridor. “His kindness was without boundaries and he exuded an incredible energy for living a life close to nature, especially plants, staying fit, being near people he enjoyed, and doing what he felt was right. Chuck will be dearly missed.”
His expertise was often sought after by journalists for a wide range of topics, from when home gardeners should spray fruit trees, to brown marmorated stink bug, to sugar accumulation disorder in grapes for growers.
“Chuck was more than just a farm advisor,” said Farmer Fred, who devoted a segment of his KFBK Garden Show on Aug. 19 to remembering Ingels. “He was a scientist. He was a researcher. He was an engineer. And he was a communicator. He could take all the jargon of science and tell a farmer, tell a gardener, exactly what the problem is and how to treat it.”
Pam Bone, former UCCE farm advisor in Sacramento County who was a search committee member for the UCCE advisor position, told Farmer Fred, “Right away, Chuck stood out to me. He was dynamic, his presentation was very interesting and informative, but he was down to earth, too, and I think that was the thing that impressed me the most. I said, ‘This is a farm advisor. This is the type of person who can work with the growers.' He also had the responsibility of working with the Master Gardener Program and the landscapers and other people who work in the ornamental horticulture industry.”
Of his many publications, "The Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Fruit and Nut Trees," remains a UC best-selling book.
Ingels, who was born in 1956 and raised in Merced, earned his B.S. in fruit science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and his M.S. in horticulture at UC Davis.
Ingels is survived by his wife, Tracy Lesperance, his son Joshua Ingels, and his siblings Carol Green, Biff Ingels, Gary Ingels and Becky Ingels.
Sympathy cards may be addressed to the UCCE office in Sacramento County at 4145 Branch Center Rd., Sacramento, CA 95827. Plans for an enduring tribute to Ingels at Fair Oaks Horticulture Center will be announced at a later date. Donations in Ingels' memory can be made to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center through the UCCE Master Gardeners of Sacramento County website http://sacmg.ucanr.edu.
A celebration of Ingels' life will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, Family Life Center/Conference Room A, 11427 Fair Oaks Blvd., next to the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks.
Ingels' obituary was published in the Sacramento Bee https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?n=charles-ingels-chuck&pid=189967920.