Seiji Moriuchi, farmer and assistant coach

Seiji H. Moriuchi
Seiji H. Moriuchi
Posted: July 06, 2014

Seiji H. Moriuchi, of Moorestown, 35, a third-generation flower farmer, died in his sleep Monday, June 30. The cause of death has yet to be determined, said his brother Naoji, but he had been in poor health following a fall last year.

Mr. Moriuchi grew up on the family farm at Borton Landing and Hartford Roads, and graduated from Moorestown Friends School in 1998, where he was captain of the soccer and baseball teams and also played basketball.

During his senior year, he received the Herm McGee Award, given to the male and female athletes who have made a significant contribution to athletics at Moorestown Friends during the school year.

After attending Roger Williams College in Rhode Island, Mr. Moriuchi returned home to pursue work on the family farm.

"His passion was farming," said Naoji Moriuchi, who said his brother "had a gift" for raising produce like his great-grandfather Heijiro Moriuchi and his grandmother Janet Brunt.

He was the third generation to run the business since the family arrived in South Jersey in 1945. Mr. Moriuchi's grandfather Takashi Moriuchi left California following the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. After working with farmer Lou Barton in Cherry Hill, the family began tenant-farming in 1962, and bought the Moorestown farm in the mid-1970s from Charles Collins, a fellow Quaker.

In time, the family had more than 1,000 acres in cultivation, including apples, peaches, and nectarines, as well as produce and flowers, including a wide variety of mums. Known as M&M Farm & Garden Market, the business sold over 100,000 cubic yards of mulch and tens of thousands of mums annually.

"Out of all the [four] children, he was the one that always loved to farm and expressed interest in following the family tradtion," said his father, Fred. "We were very proud of him. He was able to connect with people from all walks of life and was well respected. He will be missed."

His brother described him as "genuine and hard-working, and fiercely loyal to friends and family."

During the last seven years, Mr. Moriuchi also served as an assistant boys' varsity basketball coach at Moorestown Friends. Several of the young men he coached worked on the farm.

In addition to his father and brother, Mr. Moriuchi is survived by his mother, Caroline Brunt Moriuchi; brother Takashi; sister Akemi; grandmother Yuri Moriuchi; a nephew; and two nieces.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 12, at 10:30 a.m. at Moorestown Friends Meeting, 118 E. Main St. Friends may call Friday, July 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lewis Funeral Home, 78 E. Main St., Moorestown.

Interment will be at Friends Cemetery in Moorestown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Seiji Moriuchi Scholarship, Moorestown Friends School, 110 E. Main St., Moorestown, N.J. 08057.

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