David "Ocean" Sipes, whose long career in natural foods retail took him across the Southwest, died Oct. 23 in a car accident. He was 48.
At the time of his death, Sipes was produce manager at New Frontiers Natural Marketplace in Flagstaff, Ariz. He started as a grocery clerk for Whole Foods Market in Houston, then moved into produce at Texas Health Distributors and managed produce departments at Whole Foods, Wild Oats Markets and Food for Health before arriving in Flagstaff in 2001.
"Ocean re-created the produce department at New Frontiers, making it a center of freshness, excitement, information and customer service," Marketing Manager Priya Drews said. His nickname stemmed from 15 years of shamanic spiritual practice.
Sipes was born in Trenton, N.J., the son of Dick and Dotty Sipes. He graduated from Elston High School in Michigan City, Ind., in 1975 and attended Indiana University, Bloomington. He is survived by his mother and a sister, Deanna Callegari, both of Michigan City; and a brother, Douglas, of Pittsboro, Ind.
Services were held in Indiana and Arizona. The family requested donations to a charity of the donor's choice.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 3/p. 30