Person:Robert Kearney (1)

Robert Emmitt 'Bob' Kearney, Wholesale Deli Professional
  1. Robert Emmitt 'Bob' Kearney, Wholesale Deli Professional1918 - 1986
  2. John Joseph Kearney, Jr.1919 - 1956
Facts and Events
Name Robert Emmitt 'Bob' Kearney, Wholesale Deli Professional
Gender Male
Birth[1] 9 May 1918 Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia
Death? 4 Jan 1986 Riverside County, California

About Robert Kearney

Robert Emmett "Bob" Kearney was born on 9 May 1918 in Clarksburg, Harrison County, West Virginia, son of John Joseph Kearney, Sr. (b. 1884) and his wife Norah Gay Brown (1888-1971), both born in West Virginia of Irish heritage. Robert's roots in the grocery industry started early, as his father worked as a warehouse superintendent for a grocery wholesaler before the family moved to Akron, Ohio when Bob was five years old. When Bob was still in high school in Akron, he started working part-time as a warehouseman for the Akron Coffee & Grocery Co., where his father was also employed. He continued as a full-time employee for three more years after he graduated from high school in 1935, then he joined the Summit Wholesale Grocery Company in 1938. He continued working for Summit in various positions in warehousing and sales until he decided to move to California in 1950 after visiting there on vacation.

He wrote to California co-op grocery wholesaler, Certified Grocers, describing his background and experience and was hired immediately.
. He worked in the office handling inventory control, and shortly thereafter was put in charge of Certified's drug service division. Three and a half years later, Bob was called into the office of Certified's President, Campbell "Cam" Stewart, who asked Bob what he knew about the deli business. "i know they sell cheese", Bob replied, and the next thing he knew he was hearing about plans for a Certified deli division. They started the new division in December 1956, and over time it grew into one of Certified's fastest-growing and most profitable divisions.

While at Certified Grocers, Bob was one of the four men who originally founded the Southern California Deli Council, which later became known as the Dairy/Deli/Bakery Council of Southern California (DDBC), a local food-industry trade association. Bob was present in the early days of the Deli Council when the first meetings were held at Syd Fischer's house until the group was large enough to be held in a small dining room at the Roger Young Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. While a member, Bob Kearney was awarded the Deli Council's "Big Cheese" Award in January 1966 for his leadership and support of the Council in its formative years. Bob also served as President of another food-industry trade association, the "National Deli & Fine Food Society" during its formation in 1963.

In March 1966, Bob resigned his position as Manager of the Delicatessan Division of Certified Grocers. According to the March 1966 Deli News Magazine, Bob was going to "rest for a few weeks with his family and hobbies until he decided to what facet of the food industry that he would apply his knowledge". Afterwards, it was announced in the June 1966 Deli News Magazine that Bob had joined Imperial Food Distributors as its Sales Manager for the meat specialties firm which specialized in Mexican food products, but his stint there was short-lived, as just two months later in the August 1966 Deli News Magazine, it contained an announcment that Bob had formed a new company Robert E. Kearney & Associated to represent food manufacturers in the gourmet and specialty cheese and dairy categories. In 1967, Bob served as Sales Manager for Champion Food Sales, then owned by Sydney "Syd" Fischer, who served as the first Deli Council President in 1960.

Bob Kearney returned to the wholesale side of the industry in May 1968 when he was appointed by Certified Corporation of Hawaii to reorganize and develop their purchases of delicatessan products, frozen foods, smoked and frozen meats, eggs and poultry. The Honolulu-based Certified Corporation of Hawaii was a privately-owned wholesale grocer, serving food chains. [Source: May 1968 Deli News Magazine]. In July 1973, Bob joined C.L. Simon Fine Foods as their Sales Manager. [Source: July 1973 Deli News Magazine].

Bob Kearney passed away on 4 January 1986 in Riverside County, California. His contributions to the wholesale grocery industry were many and his leadership and service will be remembered by his co-workers and friends for many years.

Image Gallery
  1. West Virginia, United States. Births Index, 1853-1969. (Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011).

    West Virginia, Births Index, 1853-1969
    Name: Robt Emmet Kearney
    Birth Date: 9 May 1918
    Birth Place: Clarksburg, Harrison, West Virginia
    Birth County: Harrison
    Gender: Male
    Father's Name: John Karney
    Mother's name: Nora Gay Karney
    FHL Film Number: 847189

  2.   California. Department of Public Health. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Death Index, 1940-1997.

    California, Death Index, 1940-1997
    Name: Robert Emmitt Kearney
    Social Security #: 297103549
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 9 May 1917
    Birth Place: West Virginia
    Death Date: 4 Jan 1986
    Death Place: Riverside
    Mother's Maiden Name: Brown