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William F. Consalo was 82

by Gordon M. Hochberg | January 07, 2009
William F. Consalo, a former president of Wm. Consalo & Sons Farms Inc. in Vineland, NJ, died Sunday, Jan. 4, at his home in Vineland following a bout with cancer. He was 82 years old.

Mr. Consalo was one of four sons of company founder William Consalo, who started the wholesale produce distribution firm in 1927. The other sons were Anthony, known as Andy, who died some years ago, as well as Augustus (Augie) and Vincent Sr., who both retired a few years ago.

William Francis Consalo was born Dec. 29, 1926, in Medford, NJ. He lived in Richwood, NJ, and Union, NJ, for much of his life before moving to Vineland in 1969.

In addition to being president of Wm. Consalo & Sons Farms, he was vice president of WCS Trucking Inc.

Among his many business affiliations, Mr. Consalo was a member of the United Fresh Produce Association, the Produce Marketing Association, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, the New Jersey Farm Bureau, the Cumberland County Board of Agriculture, the Atlantic County Board of Agriculture, the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association and the New Jersey Peach Growers Association.

Among his many honors during his lifetime, he received the Man of the Year Award from United's New Jersey chapter.

"He was a great person and leader," Vince Consalo Jr., president of Wm. Consalo & Sons Farms, told The Produce News Wednesday, Jan. 7. "He taught me everything I needed to know so that when I took over as president, the transition was very easy."

Asked what he thought his uncle's biggest strength was, Vince Consalo replied, "His thoroughness on every subject. Everything he touched he made sure it was done the best way possible. He didn't just jump at something. He really thought it out and made sure it was best for the company."

Mr. Consalo is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mildred; four daughters, Mary Louise Gruccio; Louise Consalo; Kathleen (Kathy) Bifulco and her husband, Umberto (Bert) Bifulco III; and Caroline Smith and her husband, Andrew; two brothers, Vincent Sr. and his wife, Hope; and Augustus and his wife, Dorothy; two sisters, Philomena Guinta; and Elaine D'Ottavio and her husband, Ronald; a sister-in-law, Lena Gattuso; brothers- and sisters-in-law Joe & Pauline Brigandi and Peter & Lilly Brigandi; eight grandchildren; four great- grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Louise; son-in-law Michael L. Gruccio Jr.; brother Anthony and his wife, Barbara; and brothers- in-law and sister-in law James Gattuso and John & Mary Brigandi.

Donations may be made to the Michael L. Gruccio Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund or St. Isidore the Farmers Church toward the purchase of a statue in Mr. Consalo's memory. Donations may be mailed to 2459 Buttonwood Drive, Vineland, NJ 08361.