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Valley Fruit & Produce mourns Art La Londe Jr.

Valley Fruit & Produce Co.'s Arthur Francis La Londe Jr., fondly known as Art, died peacefully on Thursday, July 19, in Miami. He was 92.Art-Portrait

The son of the late Arthur F. La Londe Sr. and Aurelia La Londe, Mr. La Londe was born June 5, 1926 in Los Angeles. In 1945, at the age of 19, he served in the U.S. Navy. He retired shortly after the end of World War II to attend college and went on to obtain a business degree from Loyola Marymount. As a young boy, he eagerly watched his father work as a produce broker; 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 Mr. La Londe and at the age of 23 he joined the ranks of many whose love for produce consumed them.

Mr. La Londe was once quoted saying, “I built my life around the job that made me the happiest.” He always had a ready smile and a helping hand to everyone he had worked for and with.

As one of the pioneers in the Los Angeles produce industry — and for almost three quarters of a decade — Mr. La Londe was known for his passion and penchant for what he considered “his world.” His legacy will prevail as Valley Fruit & Produce Co. will continue to stand proud and strong and as Mr. La Londe would declare, “is here to stay and withstand the test of time and generations to come.”

Mr. La Londe is survived by Sylvia, his wife of 41 years; his companion, Xiomara; his children Stephen La Londe, Douglas La Londe, Caron Roccanova and Lynn Allen. Mr. La Londe will also be remembered by his brother, Donald La Londe; sister, Suzanne King; his 10 grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.

Services to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, at noon located at Christ the King Church, 624 N. Rossmore Ave., Los Angeles.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Mr. La Londe may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place; Memphis, TN 38105 or donors@stjude.org.