James Sumas, patriarch of Wakefern Food Corp. member Village Super Market Inc., has died. He was 84.
Village Super Market owns and operated 30 ShopRites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. Sumas, a Morristown resident, was the company’s owner, operator and chairman emeritus.
Sumas worked for his father and uncle’s market in South Orange during high school. After attending college and serving in the military, he dedicated himself to the family business in 1957, a decade after it had joined Wakefern.
Sumas served on numerous committees and held numerous positions at Wakefern, helping guide the retailer-owned cooperative during its formative years and beyond.
From 1957 he was Wakefern’s Grocery committee chairman for nearly 60 years. He served as vice chairman of Wakefern and was on the Board of Directors for over 30 years.
“Jimmy really represented the entrepreneurial family business spirit that defines Wakefern,” said Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joseph Colalillo in a statement. “He loved his family and associates and was passionate about the values and the importance of our cooperative.”
Sumas is survived by wife Helen, daughters MariaElaina and Stephanie, son John James, and grandsons Theodore-James and James Beau. He is also survived by brother Robert, sister-in-law Harriet and a large extended family.