Prominent Vidalia onion leader passes
G&R Farms, the third-generation Vidalia Onion grower in southeast Georgia, announced the passing of prominent Glennville farmer, businesswoman, and Vidalia Sweet Onion pioneer Pam Durrence Dasher, aged 79 on July 24, 2023.
Dasher was the co-owner of G&R Farms with her brother-in-law Robert Dasher, a role she has held since 2003. The Tattnall County native, joined the business in 1962 when she married her high school sweetheart, Gerald W. Dasher. Following her husband’s untimely death, Pam assumed co-ownership and management of the company alongside her brother-in-law Robert and continued in that capacity until her passing.
Throughout the years, Pam worked side-by-side with her husband Gerald and his brother Robert as they grew the farm and helped build what we know today as a leading, year-round global sweet onion empire. Pam served as office manager of G&R for many years, but it wasn’t uncommon to find her grading onions or doing any other job that was needed as their farming operation grew.
G&R employees fondly shared memories of Pam including her attention to detail, pride in a job well done and the balance of work and family without exception. She was filled with the truest of Southern grit and charm, exuding confidence and a gentle spirit which always lent a calming presence in a fast paced produce world.
In addition to cultivating their farm, Pam and Gerald also sought to cultivate a brand—not just that of G&R, but of the Sweet Onion itself. The Dashers were the first growers to market Sweet Onions directly to supermarkets, thus cementing the popularity and success of the crop and their own company. They also traveled together, sharing the benefits of this unique sweet onion and helped to secure the passage of the Vidalia Onion Act by the Georgia General Assembly.
Blake Dasher, CEO of G&R Farms commented, “From the earliest of years, Pam was the backbone of the office, providing the structured support Gerald and Robert needed so they could focus on sales and production.” Dasher continued, “It was her unwavering support and quiet confidence that helped build the foundation that we continue to grow from today, and there’s no doubt she was a tiny giant among men.”
Pam is preceded in death by her parents and husband; and other family members. She is survived by her children, the Honorable Paige Dasher Mulligan and husband Mike, and Gerald Walter “Walt” Dasher II and wife Anita; along with many beloved grandchildren and family.
Funeral services will be Friday, July 28, 2023, at Glennville First Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ogeechee Area Hospice at PO Box 531, Statesboro, Georgia 30459.