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By Michel Nolan, The Sun
Posted: 11/14/16 – 11:41 AM PST |

Jack H. Brown, executive chairman of Stater Bros. Markets and charitable leader throughout the region, died Sunday evening surrounded by family. He was 78.

Neither the cause nor the location of his death was known, Stater Bros. officials said.

“Grief is not a strong enough word to describe what the Stater Bros. ‘Family’ feels,” Stater Bros. President and CEO Pete Van Helden said in a statement. “Jack touched every one of us in a very personal way, and it is that legacy that we must carry forward. He loved the business, his company and each one of us.”

Brown joined Stater Bros. in 1981. He served as president and chief executive officer of Stater Bros. Markets for more than 35 years and as chairman for Stater Bros. for more than 30 years.

Under his leadership, Stater Bros. grew to 169 stores with gross sales last year reaching $4.5 billion. It was late last year that Brown stepped down as chief executive officer and took the role of executive chairman.

Brown, a native of San Bernardino, was known for his charitable work on behalf of the community.

He was a model citizen when it came to his employees, his customers and his community, said Carl Dameron, who works closely with The Salvation Army of San Bernardino and other groups that he said benefited from the generosity of Stater Bros.

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