Longtime produce salesman Luke Patruno died March 24 at age 93. He had most recently worked for MCL Fresh, Los Angeles.
Patruno’s son, Luke Patruno Jr., followed his father’s lead and pursued a career in the produce industry. He is now the director of organics for MCL Fresh, according to a statement from the company.
The elder Patruno began his produce work as a teenager at the Cleveland Produce Market. When he later moved to California he worked for several fresh produce companies, including Century Fruit, Certified Organics and Western Mixers, MCL reported.
“Luke Patruno Sr. dedicated his life to connecting growers to consumers. He had a passion for seeing that the consuming public enjoyed great food and was a pillar of the industry for decades,” MCL Fresh president David Lake said in the company release.
“He was also a visionary in that he foresaw the importance of organic production long before it was accepted as mainstream and focused on helping organic growers find and build their markets.”
In addition to his son Luke, Patruno is survived by two other children and 10 grandchildren. Funeral services are scheduled for March 29 at St. Therese Catholic Church in Alhambra, Calif., with visitation set for 10:30 a.m. and Mass set to begin at 11 a.m.