David Edward Hull passed away quietly at his home in Warwick, New York, surrounded by his loving family. ‘Apple Dave’, as he was affectionately known since youth, was 81 years old. Apple Dave, an entrepreneur of vision, founded and owned Applewood Orchards, which was renamed “Apple Dave’s Orchard” in his honor in 2015. Since early youth he dreamed of becoming an apple grower and remained committed to that goal with an uncommon love and passion for agriculture.
David’s parents, Dr. Donald and Dorothy Hull, purchased the oldest farm in Orange County in 1949 and with the help of family, friends, and Warwick neighbors transformed it into one of our county’s premiere orchards.
Apple Dave studied pomology at Cornell University and journalism at Columbia. In 1955 he returned to the farm after military service in Korea and began raising livestock, peaches, and apples. In the mid-1970s, he was one of the earliest local farmers to establish a pick-your-own operation and it became a great success, today drawing tens of thousands of consumers annually. A few years ago the apple orchard and his son Jonathan’s winery were featured in a CNBC television report ‘How to Succeed in Business’.
David was a visionary, marketing his fresh apples from vending machines in local schools in the late 1950s. After sustaining a serious auto accident in 1962 he invented a seatbelt alarm system similar to ones that became mandatory on all vehicles many years later.
In the 1960s and early 70s David combined his seasonal farming with real estate working as a broker for Wilfred L. Raynor and Barbara White. He played a key role with local designer, David Brandt and John Sanford, Sr., in creating for the Warwick Historical Society a revolving fund through which owners of numerous historic buildings secured low-interest loans to capitalize restorations. He also helped to establish the local Architectural Review Board. Apple Dave’s love of trees inspired him and a group of local Warwickians to establish the first town shade tree commission in New York State. Working with then Assemblyman Benjamin Gilman and local attorney Jack Beattie they devised a law designed to protect and preserve local street trees. David also served on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and was an advocate in the early 1960s of farmland preservation.
David Hull was born August 12, 1932 in Paterson, New Jersey, and was raised in nearby Ridgewood. He is survived by his wife Susanna Migel Hull and her mother, Gertrude Migel, along with his daughter, Jennifer Hull McGloin, sons Peter and Jonathan and their respective wives, Alixis and Michelle, stepsons Jake Talmage and Christopher Boynton, sisters Nancy Hull Kearing and Suzanne Hull Bradner Stage, and brother, Richard Hull all of Warwick. He also leaves seven grandchildren, Dylan and Zachary Hull , Christopher and Randall McGloin, Will and Anna Talmage and George “Skip” Boynton. David’s first wife, Mildred Elaine Brinkerhoff Hull, died in 1988.
A public celebration of Apple Dave’s life was held at the Barnsider Tavern in Sugarloaf N.Y.. Memorial donations may be sent to Warwick Ambulance Corp
., PO Box 315, Warwick NY 10990