Founder of Al's Nursery in Portola Valley dies at 80Alwin Bertschinger, always called Al, who founded a nursery in 1959 on a neglected orchard along Portola Road that became one of the area's finest, died May 31 at his home in Menlo Park. He was 80.
He was very healthy and active, and went to the nursery regularly up until last year when he suffered from kidney disease, said his daughter Karin Wu.
The family plans to hold a celebration of Mr. Bertschinger's life at the nursery later this summer.
A native of Switzerland who came to the U.S. in 1952, Mr. Bertschinger was an authority on plants and trees who shared his time, advice and plant materials with the town of Portola Valley since its incorporation in 1964.
The family suggests that any memorial donations be sent to Pathways Hospice, 585 N. Mary Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085.
Additional information about Mr. Bertschinger will appear in a future article in The Almanac.