Jon Flora, president of Fry's Food Stores, dies 'unexpectedly'

PHOENIX - Fry's Food Store President Jon C. Flora has died at age 58. A company spokeswoman told ABC15 his death was "unexpected."

Flora had been the president of the grocery store chain for 6 years and the Senior Vice President of the Kroger Company since June 24, 2004, BusinessWeek says.

Flora was very involved in Kroger before becoming the Senior Vice President. He served as the President of the Michigan and Great Lakes division of Kroger's as well as Executive Vice President of the Southwest Division, BusinessWeek says.

Flora worked with Kroger for 38 years, the Arizona Food Industry Journal says. Flora spent his first 120 days as president of Fry's visiting each store in the state.

The Phoenix Business Journal says Flora believed in an "open-door" policy with his employees and spent much of his time in the store with customers and employees.

Fry's pharmacy technician and Arizona State Rep. Jonathan Larkin told the Phoenix Business Journal Flora's death is sad and sudden.

"He was always smiling and energetic and shaking hands," Larkin said. He said Flora died of a heart attack.

Flora was very involved in the community, the Journal says, being honored by the Boys & Girls club earlier this year as a leading CEO who gives back to the community.

On Saturday, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix issued this statement:

"Jon was a pillar of kindness in the Valley --- our community mourns his loss. Jon was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix's 'Star of the Year' for his extraordinary support of Valley children. Jon put the community at the center of Fry's culture at every level of the organization. Our kids in need could always count on a turkey from Fry's at the holidays!  We will always remember Jon as the star who brought a smile and a warm meal to the children in Phoenix"

Flora says a mentor who inspired him was president of King Scoopers, Don Gallegos.

Flora leaves behind wife, Christy Taylor, a son, daughter-in-law and daughter.

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