Art La Londe was a longtime presence at the Los Angeles Produce Market at Valley Fruit & Produce. ( Courtesy Valley Fruit & Produce Co. )

Art La Londe Jr., well known for years for his management role at Valley Fruit & Produce Co. on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market, has died.

La Londe died July 19 in Miami. He was 92.

“I built my life around the job that made me the happiest,” La Londe once said, according to his obituary. His interest in the industry started early.

“As a young boy, he eagerly watched his father work as a produce broker,” according to the obituary. “This was during the time when the 9th Street Market was still on San Pedro.

“The excitement in the fast-paced produce environment lured and inspired Art and at the age of 23, he joined the ranks of many whose love for produce consumed them,” according to the obituary.

The Fresh Produce and Floral Council, Anaheim, Calif., released a statement saying "Our thoughts and prayers are with Art's family and friends at this time.”

He was born in Los Angeles and started serving in the U.S. Navy when he was 19. After World War II, he earned a business degree at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

He is recognized as one of the pioneers in the Los Angeles produce industry for almost three-quarters of a century, and his legacy at Valley Fruit & Produce will continue, according to the obituary. Many La Londe family members have worked at the company over the years.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Sylvia, his companion Xiomara, sons Stephen and Douglas, daughters Caron Roccanova and Lynn Allen, brother Donald and sister Suzanne King.

Services to celebrate La Londe’s life will be at noon, Sept. 15, at Christ the King Church in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105 ([email protected]).