CARL FAZIO, age 102
Beloved husband of Irene (nee Dugger) and the late Catherine (nee Folise). Loving father of Charles, Carl Jr and Robert (Noelle). Cherished grandfather of Christopher Monk, Catherine Peters (Patrick), Nina Greenberg (Joseph), Carl A III, Anthoni (Chelsea), Cara, Michael and Nicole. Devoted great grandfather of William, Mitchell and Janet Greenberg and Francesca, Anna and Norah Peters. Loving son of Charles and Josephine Fazio (both deceased). Dear brother of Vivian Dolan and John (deceased) (Terry). Uncle and great uncle of many.
Carl, the former Chairman and CEO of Fisher Foods, Inc., passed away on October 9th at the age of 102, in his Cleveland home.
He was born to Josephine & Charles Fazio in Sant'Agata di Militello in Sicily in 1917. In January 1920 the family, which now included his sister Vivian, age 1 and a brother to be, John, who would be born 3 weeks later, immigrated to the United States. His mother Josephine had to convince Immigration officials that her pregnancy was only midterm when of course she was really full term.
The Family settled in the Kinsman neighborhood and his father Charles began in the produce business, buying the finest goods at the Cleveland Food Terminal and selling them door to door from a horse drawn cart. Soon thereafter, with other family members who had also immigrated, they opened a store on Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. In the late 1920's he opened his own store on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights and Fazio's was born.
Around 1932-33, in the midst of the Great Depression, Carl dropped out of John Adams High School, to help his parents in the store. His sister Vivian and brother John did the same a few years later.
The store survived the Depression and in the 1940's expanded adding groceries and fresh meat to become a modern supermarket.
Carl married Catherine Folise in 1940 and was drafted in 1941. Honorably discharged later that year, he assisted in the war effort, working at Warner & Swasey at night making "saddles" from which range finders and gun sight telescopes were manufactured. And during the day working at the store and building the business.
In the 1950's, with Carl and brother John hitting their stride, Fazio's grew rapidly, opening a second store at Lee Road & Harvard, affectionately known as #2. Fazio's joined a cooperate, Food Town and later with other store owners, founded another Cooperative, Stop-N-Shop.
In 1965 David swallowed Goliath as Fazio's with 6 stores and the Costa family with one, purchased Fisher Foods, Inc. and their 80 plus stores. Carl and his brother John, and the many great people who surrounded them, built a great company. The company was known for many innovations including in store bakeries, prepared foods and wine cellars. Over the years Fisher-Fazio-Costa grew to include stores throughout Ohio, purchased Dominick's stores in Chicago and Shopping Bag stores in Los Angeles. At its zenith the company operated over 200 stores.
He was active in civic affairs including being appointed by Mayor Stokes as Chairman of the Little Hoover Commission, designed to make city operations more efficient.
After retiring being widowed in 1987, Carl married Irene Dugger in 1996. They enjoyed an active lifestyle travelling, playing golf and spending time with family and friends. He was a determined and focused man who enjoyed the competition in golf and gin rummy.
Carl loved good food and entertaining friends and family. He had a great wine cellar with many vintage bottles which he saved for special family occasions. His legendary Sunday morning pancake fests were open to all. He especially loved little children and was a beloved grandfather and great grandfather.
He will be missed.
Entombment Knollwood Cemetery. Prayers of Christian Burial 11 am Tuesday at THE FIORITTO FUNERAL HOME, 5236 MAYFIELD RD, LYNDHURST (E OF RICHMOND RD), WHERE FRIENDS MAY CALL FROM 9:30 UNTIL TIME OF SERVICE.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Hawken School, PO Box 8002, Gates Mills, Ohio 44040.