Memorial Donations can be made to the LAM Foundation at www.thelamfoundation.org
John Fazio, former President and CEO of Fisher Foods, sometimes known as Fisher-Fazio-Costa Foods, passed away on March 8, 2019, at the age of 99 in Dallas, TX. He was born to Josephine and Charles Fazio in Cleveland, Ohio, on 14th Street on January 23, 1920, growing up with older siblings Vivian and Carl. He attended Alexander Hamilton High School but dropped out in the tenth grade to assist his father Charles in a budding food business, which began in 1927 as a lone fruit cart and then grew to five stores, called Fazio’s Stop-and-Shop. At the age of 21, John married his first wife, Anita. During WWII, John joined the Army Air Force, and after the war, he returned to help build the family business.
In 1965, along with his brother Carl and other investors, John bought Fisher Foods, which was a failing business at the time; he became the President and CEO of Fisher Foods, revolutionizing the food business with many industry firsts. In less than two years, the company became profitable. It grew to 202 stores throughout Ohio (Fazio’s), Kentucky, Illinois (Dominick’s), and California (Fazio’s Shopping Bag). In 1969, John’s name appeared in “Who’s Who in America,” with Fisher Foods having earned the rating of #18 of the 50 most successful businesses in the country.
In 1977, he was divorced from Anita, and in 1979, he married Terry Lawler.
Then, in 1984, John left Fisher Foods and opened a deep discount food and drug store called “Jote’s” in Willowick, Ohio. From there he moved to Dallas and opened three warehouse stores, which he operated until the year 2000. He retired from the retail business at the age of 80.
John was also a civic leader and devoted much time to volunteer service and charity organizations. In Cleveland, he was an active member of the First Baptist Church on Fairmount Blvd., and he was also invited to speak at various colleges to young people who wanted to learn how to be successful entrepreneurs. Also in Cleveland, John was actively involved in fundraising for United Cerebral Palsy; after he moved to Dallas, his favorite charity became the LAM Foundation.
Throughout his life, John relished an active lifestyle and particularly enjoyed tennis, golf, and bowling. He was a gregarious man and an avid storyteller: always the center of every gathering, the life of the party, the first to laugh and offer a winning, warm smile. In addition, he loved spending time with his family and friends, and he and his wife Terry were always hosting parties and celebrations. As a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he was much loved and will be sorely missed. He is survived by his wife, three children, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.