IN MEMORIAM: Lee Garoyan Obituary, Isao Fujimoto Celebration of Life



  • Obituary: Leon “Lee” Garoyan, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Celebration of life: Isao Fujimoto, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and College of Letters and Science

Lee Garoyan: Ag economist

Leon “Lee” Garoyan headshot
Leon “Lee” Garoyan

Leon “Lee” Garoyan, emeritus Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, died at home March 26 of cerebral vascular disease. He was 96.

An obituary on his department’s website states, “Lee Garoyan’s life is a classic immigrant success story,” explaining that he grew up in a poor, but educated, family of immigrants on a 20-acre farm in Fowler near Fresno.

He attended Fresno State and then Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, graduating with a degree in horticulture. He worked as a farm advisor in Oregon for six years, then enrolled for a master’s degree in agricultural economics at the University of Wisconsin. Two years later he was invited back to Wisconsin for a Ph.D. and graduated in 1960.

In 1961 his dissertation was published as a book, Changes in Market Structure of Grocery Retailing. This was the first of several professional and personal books he wrote, the most recent being published last year.

Based on his research, he became a sought-after teacher and extension economist, first in Oregon and then at UC Davis. At the start of his career he served in the Kennedy administration as a staff economist, and later his service to his country took the form of voluntary consulting for the CIA on the food production and marketing systems in Eastern Europe and Russia before perestroika.

Throughout his professional career he worked with many farmer cooperatives in the United States, Chile and many parts of Eastern Europe. This work culminated in his role as the founding director of the

Read the complete obituary on the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website.

Isao Fujimoto: Celebration of life

Isao Fujimoto headshot
Isao Fujimoto

A celebration of life for longtime faculty member Isao Fujimoto will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday (April 21) in Ballrooms A and B at the UC Davis Conference Center.

Fujimoto, who died in February at age at 89, helped found the Asian American Studies and Community Development programs. He came to UC Davis in 1967 and, even after retiring in 1994, continued teaching and taking part in campus life. He also had a big impact on the Davis community helping start the Davis Farmers Market and Davis Food Co-Op.

Face masks and Daily Symptom Survey required. In addition to the Daily Symptom Survey, non-UC Davis affiliates will be required to present either proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID-19 test (from the last 72 hours). Parking information is available here.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,


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