The food industry lost several of its founding fathers during 1997. They included:
in 1955 after selling the Big Ben stores to the Corvette-Hills chain.
Anthony Rini, 90, one of the founders of Rini Supermarkets, Cleveland, which merged with Rego Supermarkets and American Seaway Foods (a group of independent wholesalers) in 1988 to form Riser Foods, Maple Heights, Ohio.
Herbert "Orby" Schear, 89, co-founder and former chairman and president of Liberal Markets, Dayton, Ohio.
Joseph T. Newton Jr., 85, founder and chairman of Piggly Wiggly Carolina Corp., Charleston Heights, S.C., the largest franchise operator of Piggly Wiggly stores in the United States. Clarence R. Wheeler, 79, founder of Consumer Markets, Springfield, Mo.
O.C. Mendenhall, 76, founder and chairman of Fiesta Mart, Houston.
Jim Gooding, 74, founder of Gooding's Supermarkets, Apopka, Fla. Other food industry leaders who died during 1997 included:
Esther Peterson, 91, consumer advocate who worked in the administrations of three U.S. presidents.
Lou Fox, 79, president of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., from 1968 until 1983. Fox is generally regarded as the father of backhaul because of his efforts in the 1970's to help secure legislation that allowed empty trucks that had delivered their cargo to pick up other merchandise from manufacturer warehouses they passed on their way back. John L. Strubbe, 75, who retired from Kroger Co., Cincinnati, in 1986 as senior vice president, operations. He was also a former chairman and president of the Uniform Code Council
Jack W. Evans Sr., 74, chairman and chief executive officer of Cullum Cos., Dallas, before it was sold to Randalls Food Markets, Houston, in 1992.
Burt P. Flickinger Jr., 70, retired executive with S.M. Flickinger, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based wholesaler that was founded by his grandfather and sold in 1984 to Scrivner, Oklahoma City (which was later acquired by Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City).
David N. Freedman, 67, senior vice president of corporate facilities, Giant Food, Landover, Md., and president of the chain's construction subsidiary.
Nicholas S. Riso, 66, president and CEO of Giant Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa., until 1982, when it was sold to Ahold, Zaandam, Netherlands. He subsequently held the title of executive vice president, retail operations, for Giant until his retirement in 1995.
Donald M. Rix, 66, retired president of the Lo Bill division of March Supermarkets, Indianapolis.
Harold Juckett, 64, president and chief operating officer of the Uniform Code Council, Dayton, Ohio.
Sir James Goldsmith, 64, former chairman and president of Generale Occidentale, a U.K.-based company that owned Grand Union Co., Wayne, N.J., from 1973 until 1987. Goldsmith's company also acquired Colonial Stores, Atlanta, and Weingarten's, Houston.
Harold Harwood, 63, former president and CEO of Mid-Mountain Foods, Abingdon, Va.
Harry Sullivan, 58, senior vice president for public affairs and general counsel for Food Marketing Institute.