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Pumpkin king remembered in funeral service

May 26, 2008
By The Canadian Press


May 26, 2008, Windsor, N.S. –
Family and friends gathered in Windsor, N.S., recently to say goodbye
to the province's pumpkin king, Howard Dill.

May 26, 2008, Windsor, N.S. – Family and friends gathered Saturday in Windsor, N.S., to say goodbye to the province's pumpkin king, whose giant gourds earned international awards and even captured the attention of domestic maven Martha Stewart.

Howard Dill, whose seeds for his Atlantic Giant pumpkins are sold to competitive growers around the world, died May 20 in hospital after succumbing to inoperable liver cancer. He was 73.


In 2005, Martha Stewart tried to come to Nova Scotia to pilot one of Dill's hollowed-out creations in an annual pumpkin regatta, but poor weather in Maine grounded her flight to the province.

Dill's funeral at the Windsor United Church was held on a sunny day – the type when pumpkins begin to grow.

During the service, Rev. Bill Gibson noted there was no better day to celebrate the life of the father of four.

In addition to friends and family, the service was attended by former Nova Scotia Liberal premier Gerald Regan, Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil, and Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister Brooke Taylor.

Following the service, Taylor recalled the first time he met Dill and was given a package of “those famous seeds.

“He really was an ambassador for the province,” said Taylor. “There's certainly going to be a big void in the agricultural community because everybody looked up to him.”

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