Seed World

PanAmerican Seed’s Francis Kwong Loses Cancer Battle

 width=On July 30, Francis Kwong who served as director of seed technology for PanAmerican Seed lost his battle with colon cancer. Kwong, 65, had a passion for agriculture and seed science, but is remembered by peers for his remarkable spirit of collaboration, professional integrity and amazing creativity.

“Francis Kwong will be missed greatly here at Ball. He had the mind of a scientist and the soul of an artist,” says Anna Ball, president and CEO of Ball Horticultural Company.

During his 38-year career, Kwong showed commitment and dedication to the industry for seed production, which helped PanAmerican Seed farms produce high-quality products and solve problems where others could not.

His research was instrumental in groundbreaking seed products such as Angelonia, Calibrachoa, and New Guinea Impatiens. Among other industry accomplishments, Kwong edited a comprehensive reference book, “Flower Seeds: Biology and Technology” with M.B. McDonald in 2005, which showcases the science behind flower seeds.

Kwong arrived in the United States from China in 1969. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and his master’s degree from Oregon State University. He also earned a doctorate in agriculture from Purdue University. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, his daughter, Lisa Xia; sisters Agnes Choi and Cecilia; and brothers John and Joe.