Former Delaware Shoprite CEO Bernard Kenny, 85

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Former Delaware Shoprite store CEO Bernard Francis “Bernie” Kenny, Jr. died on Dec. 30. He was 85.

Bernie Kenny, a native of New Jersey, worked his way up from a butcher’s assistant to become an owner/operator in northern Delaware for Shoprite, the flagship brand of New Jersey-based cooperative supermarket supplier Wakefern Foods.

Under the Kenny family, Shoprite grew from two to a half a dozen stores in northern Delaware. It is one of the largest grocers in Delaware based on market share. Shoprite’s growth accelerated when the family grocer acquired the former Pathmark and Safeway store sites in the Bear Glasgow area, with the boldest move coming in adding a store in Wilmington’s Riverfront area after earlier opening a location in north Wilmington.

Active in charitable circles, Kenny formed the Kenny Family Foundation in 2009.

In retirement, he invested in real estate and formerly owned the First State Plaza, the site of an original Kenny Shoprite.

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Kenny also served as member of the Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division and rose to the rank of Master Sergeant.

Mass will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Hockessin on Saturday at 10 a.m. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Kenny Family Foundation.

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