Joseph Azzolina, president of Food Circus Supermarkets, a 10-store chain in
the Monmouth County, NJ, area, died Thursday, April 15, at St. Vincent's
Hospital in New York. He was 84 years old. The Middletown, NJ, resident had
battled cancer for a number of years.
Born Jan. 26, 1926, in Newark, NJ, Mr. Azzolina served in the New Jersey
Senate and New Jersey Assembly from 1965 to 2006. He was a veteran of
World War II and the Korean War, serving in the U.S. Navy for more than 40
years, retiring with the rank of captain, according to published reports.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a supermarket industry
leader, Joe Azzolina. He was a wonderful family man, a great friend to many,
a successful and hardworking businessman, a dedicated statesman, and a
proud Navy captain," Food Marketing Institute President and Chief Executive
Officer Leslie G. Sarasin said in an April 19 statement. “Joe was a valuable
contributor to our industry and served on the FMI board of directors for 17
years. He was always generous with his time and was happy to share his
knowledge and experience as an independent operator. On behalf of FMI, I
extend my deepest sympathy to his wife, Roselyn, and their children. He will
be greatly missed.”
Joe DeLorenzo worked at Food Circus for 23 years, including as director of
produce, before becoming director of produce merchandising and operations
for Alpha 1 Marketing in White Plains, NY, in late 2004.
“Joe was always busy, always involved in many things that he loved: his
business, his politics and the Navy,” Mr. DeLorenzo told The Produce News
April 21. “Produce was very important” to Mr. Azzolina, and “he supported his
employees 100 percent.”
Mr. Azzolina is survived by his wife, Roselyn, whom he married in 1954; his
children, John, Joseph Jr., Mark, Gregory, Judy and Mary Ann; three
grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews. His sister, Grace, and
another son, Paul, predeceased him.