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Louis Andrew "Lou" Amen (1929-2020), Supermarket Founder & Icon

This month, WeRelate looks at the Person Page of Louis Andrew "Lou" Amen, born 17 May 1929, in Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, the son of Bishara Amen Tannous (1886-1966) and Marcelle Ann Radwin (1905-1969), immigrants from Syria and Palestine, respectively. Louis attended Northern High School in Flint, Michigan, which was built in 1928 and was permanently closed in 2014. He decided he wanted to graduate from High School a year early, so he went to summer school and got his diploma in 1946. Soon after, his family moved to Los Angeles County, California and Amen went to work at supermarket operator A&P. He became a Produce Manager at just age 17 at the store in Hermosa Beach, California. The hard-work ethic that started early in his life, which would continue throughout his working career.

Amen decided to buy a supermarket in 1950 with business partner Bob Sherry, which grew into a 10-store chain, S&A Foods that he later sold to grocery chain retailer Arden-Mayfair. That allowed Amen to have enough start-up capital to build his own store group. Also in 1950, Lou met and married the love of his life, Dolores "Dorie" Ara on 18 February 1950 in Los Angeles County, California. Lou Amen founded neighborhood supermarket Super A Foods in 1971 in Southern California. Super A Foods started with the aim to cater to customers in smaller neighborhoods where bigger named grocers didn’t see a viable market. He bought an Alexander's store on the corner of Sunset and Vermont in Hollywood, which became the first Super A Foods store. Super A grew into a multi-store chain that was one of the first chains to specially cater to Latino and Asian consumers in the Los Angeles area, which was advantageous considering the demographic shifts in Southern California that took place during the late 1900's. Lou became a leader in the grocery industry, serving as a Board Member, Vice Chairman and Chairman of Southern California Grocery Wholesale Distributor Certified Grocers of California for more than 15 years. Certified Grocers later became Unified Grocers, which was acquired by competitor Supervalu in 2017.

Lou Amen received several industry honors throughout his lifetime including his induction into the Food Industry Hall of Fame in 2016 for his commitment and dedication to the food industry. Amen and his wife Dorrie celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary together on February 18, 2020. At the end of March 2020, Lou Amen and his wife Delores both tested positive for the Coronavirus [Covid-19]. After spending several days in the hospital, Lou and Dorrie recovered and were recovering at home, but at the beginning of May 2020, Lou's situation got suddenly worse and after trying to fight off additional heart complications lost his fight and succumbed early morning on 5 May 2020 peacefully at home with his wife Dorrie. This Person Page, is a good example of the type of Page that you can add to WeRelate for your ancestors. (learn more...)

WeRelate is a free public-service wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy formerly in partnership with the Allen County Public Library. It has pages for over 2,940,000 people and growing. WeRelate is currently in beta. It is supported by volunteers and your tax-deductible donations.

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Crowdsourcing Challenge

This month commemorates the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, thousands of courageous Americans and British forces stormed the beaches of Normandy giving their lives in service of their countries. This Allied invasion of France would lead to the end of World War II one year later. One American solider, First Lieutenant James McCaul Jr, father of US Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, served as a bombardier on a B-17 whose squadron participated in the D-Day air campaign.

You can read more about this month's WeRelate Crowdsourcing Challenge and help in bringing details of his life here in WeRelate. Have fun.