Joseph Snyder Wickham of Simi Valley, Calif., and formerly of Glen Arm, Md. and Cutchogue, died suddenly Aug. 16, 2014. He was 50.
He was the son of John L. “Jack” and Mary Lou Wickham, and the grandson of John S. and Anne L. Wickham, former owners of Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue.
Joseph spent summers in Cutchogue as a child, and from the time he was 12, he was actively associated with growing fruit on the family farm. Beginning in 1975 he also participated in the restoration of the National Historic and New York State Historic Tuthill Landmark Farmstead on New Suffolk Road in Cutchogue.
While in residence on the North Fork, Joseph always attended the Cutchogue Presbyterian Church and recently assisted in setting up a website for them. He was also on the board of directors of the (now-defunct) Robins Island Preservation Fund.
Joseph Graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and from University of California Los Angeles with an Master of Business Administration. He was instrumental in the structuring and financing of The J. L. Wickham Company in Baltimore in the 1980s. Later he held several executive positions in California which benefitted from his unique financial expertise. Shortly before his death he was chief financial officer at Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Throughout his life Joseph always maintained a keen interest in agriculture which he first developed on the North Fork. In the early 2000s he founded Robotic Harvesting, LLC, a corporation which produced a prototype robotic strawberry harvester, a pioneering design in its field. It was demonstrated in field trials in Oxnard, Calif. in 2010.
Joseph is survived by his wife, Yonghong “Diana” Wickham; a daughter Joanna Wickham; and his parents, as well as two brothers and their wives, Benjamin and Wendy Wickham, and Barnaby and Kathryn Wickham; and a sister and her husband, Daniel and Prudence Wickham Heston of Cutchogue; and six nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were handled by funeral homes in California and Maryland, and by DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck.