Siegfried Maruschke Méndez Sr., co-owner of the Dominican tobacco growing and brokerage company Jose Mendez & Co. S.R.L., has passed away at the age of 83.

Maruschke was involved with tobacco cultivation and development for more than 50 years, working with everyone from farmers to agronomists to optimize the crops produced by his company and the farms with which it contracted.

While tobacco growers and brokers don’t get the attention that cigar companies do, Jose Mendez & Co. S.R.L. was known for providing a significant amount of tobacco to Altadis U.S.A., and in 2016, Altadis U.S.A. released the Montecristo Pilotico Pepe Mendez, which honored the founder of the company, José “Don Pepe” Mendez. A second cigar, the H. Upmann Hispaniola by Jose Mendez was released in 2019.

Maruschke, a German engineer, joined the tobacco company in 1972 after marrying Mendez’s daughter, Mercedes.

Maruschke is survived by his wife, Mercedes; his sister, Maria Theresia; his son, Siegfried Maruschke Jr. and his wife, Yvette; and his grandchildren, Marie Chantal and Franz.

Services are being held on Tuesday at Funeraria Blandino in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.