Thomas “Ross” Vaccaro, founder of Thomas Vaccaro Inc., Hammonton, N.J., died Dec. 23.
Vaccaro, 93, started the company in 1949, purchasing and shipping New Jersey fruits and vegetables and representing growers on the Vineland Produce Auction.
A longtime member of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association and the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., Vaccaro never retired and continued working in the fall, said his son, Bill Vaccaro, president of the company.
“From as long as I can remember, his passion was his work, after his family, which is what he was best at,” Bill Vaccaro said. “He worked out of Faison (N.C.) a number of years, and was always dedicated to his work and right on top of it, up until the beginning of September when his health became where couldn’t come in anymore.”
In 1983, Thomas Vaccaro was president of United Fresh’s Garden State Chapter.
A member of many civic organizations, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving a Bronze Star Medal, the European African Middle Eastern medal and was awarded the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
Vaccaro died at his home and is preceded in death by his wife, Lucy Vaccaro; two brothers and two sisters. Survivors include his son and his son’s wife, Angie Vaccaro, and four grandchildren.
Visitation was Dec. 28 with burial Dec. 29 in Hammonton.
The family suggests donation be made in Vaccaro’s memory to the Hammonton Police Dept., 100 Central Ave. Hammonton, NJ, 08037.