Benjamin Sudano Sr., 79, owner of produce company

October 17, 2002

Benjamin P. Sudano Sr., an owner of a wholesale produce company that supplies area winemakers with grapes, died of heart failure Sunday at his son's Kingsville home. He was 79 and previously lived in Baltimore's Little Italy.

Born in the city and raised on High Street in Little Italy, he attended city public schools. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Forces and was stationed in India. He attained the rank of sergeant.

After the war, he joined his father's fruit and produce business, Sudano Brothers, then on Central Avenue. He also had a banana warehouse on Light Street on the site of what is now the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

"In the fall of the year, through the end of November, he would sell wine grapes and deliver them to the homes," said his sister, Mary Sudano, who lives in Little Italy. "His customers would make wine -some of them sold it until the revenuers came in."

He remained an owner of his company, Ben's Produce, which relocated to Severn Street in Southwest Baltimore, and was active in the business until last year.

"He loved to cook - pork roast and beef roasts, spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and peppers," said his son, Benjamin P. Sudano Jr. of Kingsville. "You could never leave his house without eating.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday at St. Leo's Roman Catholic Church in Little Italy.

In addition to his son and sister, Mr. Sudano is survived by two brothers, Michael Sudano and Charles Sudano, both of Baltimore; three other sisters, Angeline Sudano and Elizabeth Hillferding, both of Baltimore, and Josephine Rau of Milton, Del.; and two grandchildren. His marriage to Margaret Scott ended in divorce.

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