Pesah Grupper, a former minister and long-serving Knesset member who was known for his tireless work in agriculture and his colorful personality, died Tuesday at the age of 88.
Grupper was born in 1924 in Jaffa to a third-generation farming family. When he was 14 his family moved to Atlit where he lived for the rest of his life.
During a long career in both local and national public life, he first served as head of the Atlit regional council and then became a member of Knesset for Likud in 1974. In 1981 he was named agriculture minister under prime minister Yitzhak Shamir and campaigned relentlessly on behalf of the country’s agricultural community on such issues as water rights and allocations.
During the 1980s he also worked to improve services to the train station in his hometown.
Grupper was famous for his the arrangements he made with train drivers, who would slow down as they approached Atlit so that he could jump from his carriage while it was still in motion.
In 1986, after leaving the Knesset, he was appointed chairman of the Farmers’ Union and the Vine-growers Union. He was also chairman of an agriculture school in Pardes Hannah.
Grupper was scheduled to be buried in Atlit at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.