Marianne Santo, Senior Category Manager of Produce and Floral at Wakefern Food Corp., Passes Away

Tue. September 26th, 2023 - by Peggy Packer

UNITED STATES - It is with a very heavy heart that we announce the passing of Marianne Santo. The former Wakefern Food Corp. executive was beloved by those in the industry for her brilliant mind, sparkling wit, and mentorship.

With a career that spanned over 30 years, Marianne brought a wonderful mixture of resilience and innovation to the buy-side. Her position as the Senior Category Manager of Produce and Floral at Wakefern Food Corp. made her connections within the industry numerous, and her knowledge and wisdom highly sought after.

She was a friend and mentor to many in this business, and had a heart bigger than her personality. Marianne paved the path for many women in the produce industry initially by becoming one of the first female Category Managers at Wakefern and then attaining the prestige of becoming the first woman President in the history of the Eastern Produce Council.

The Eastern Produce Council said in a statement that Marianne was a “devoted Board Member and leader of the Eastern Produce Council [.] Marianne was so passionate about the produce industry and its people, was a mentor to so many, and lifted everyone up whenever she had the opportunity.”

Throughout her professional career, Marianne received many awards lauding her success. Her most recent award was received in 2021: The Shelby Report Women of Influence In the Food Industry award.

Devoted to philanthropy, Marianne gave to causes such as Dress for Success, the Food Bank, and God’s Love We Deliver. Her life’s mission was to help others and provide for those in need.

She leaves behind her beloved husband, Carmine; two loving sisters, Lisa Walsak and Eileen Kennedy, Eileen’s husband Richard, and adored nieces and nephews: Tara, the late Amanda, Emily, Jacob, Adam, and Abby. It is important to mention her other sisters Marie Moss, Kelly Davis, and Tina Santo.

Marianne was an ardent reader, a fabulous cook, and perhaps U2’s biggest fan. She loved her family and friends and will be deeply missed by all.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew Marianne as we mourn this beautiful soul.