January 31, 2011 11:38 ET

Longo's Founding Visionary Passes Away

Tommy Longo 1934-2011

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 31, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Tommy Longo, the eldest of the three founding brothers of Longo's, on Sunday, January 30th, 2011 after a brief and courageous battle with leukemia.

For over 50 years, Tommy Longo has been the patriarch of the Longo family and a natural leader of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets. With a genuine interest in creating an environment where people have the opportunity to develop to their full potential, Tommy went on to build and mentor a strong foundation for both his family and the business. This foundation was built on the core values of honesty, trustworthiness and mutual respect, inspired by a vision to exceed customers' expectations. Whether he was dealing with a friend, a team member, a customer or a vendor, he always ensured his decisions were based on doing the right thing with a focus on long-term strategy.

In 1956, Tommy, along with his brothers Joe and Gus, opened their first fruit market. It was a small 1,500 square foot store on Yonge Street in Toronto that was committed to providing customers with the best fresh food experience possible. Fifty-five years later, this philosophy remains the heart and soul of this family-owned and operated company with over 4,000 team members and 23 locations throughout the GTA. Since the beginning, the Longo family has been involved in every aspect of the business of their highly successful chain of supermarkets that is known for a commitment to quality, service and value. The Longo family embodies family values that are essential to the growth and vitality of any community. This can be seen in their continuing participation in many initiatives and charitable works that help build and nurture stronger families and communities.

Tommy is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 51 years, Zina, his four loving children Anthony (Gay), Joey (Donna), Rosie (Bryan) and Marie (Danny) and 13 adoring grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his youngest brother, co-founder Gus Longo whom he worked side-by-side with for more than 50 years. He leaves a legacy of love, family and good friends. Tommy will be lovingly remembered by all his brothers and sisters, numerous nieces and nephews, and treasured family and friends. He leaves a legacy of love, family and good friends, we pray that we continue to be touched by his loving spirit and inspired by his dedication and passion for life.

Visitation will be held at Ward Funeral Home, Woodbridge Chapel, 4671 Highway #7 (between Pine Valley and Islington), Monday January 31st 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-9:00pm and Tuesday February 1st 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-9:00pm.

Funeral mass will be held at St. Clare of Assisi Parish, 150 Saint Francis Avenue, Woodbridge, Wednesday February 2nd at 10:00am. Burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, 8361 Yonge Street (at Hwy 407), Thornhill.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Tommy's name may be made to The Princess Margaret Hospital, Leukemia Research. Condolences can be expressed at www.longos.com.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/longos.jpg.

Contact Information