The CEO of Fry's Food Stores died Friday after blood clots in his legs traveled to his lungs, an autopsy revealed.
Jon Flora suffered pulmonary thrombo embolism/deep vein thrombosis, according to the autopsy.
A CBS 5 News viewer sent this message about Flora, "He had hundreds of admiring employees here in Arizona, a man who worked his way up from a stocker in the dairy department to president."
Supermarket chain Fry's Food & Drug Stores, Inc., has a major presence in Arizona.
Fry's also operates under the banner of Fry's Marketplace, a chain of multi-department stores.
In a statement, Dave Dillon, Kroger Chairman and CEO said:
"We are deeply saddened to lose Jon, our dear friend and extraordinary leader. Jon leaves a legacy of enthusiasm and passion for doing what's right for our customers, our neighbors and our associates.
"He touched the lives of countless people in our company as well as throughout our industry and community. He was a true 'servant leader' who mentored many associates at every level of our business and an incredible champion of Associate Engagement. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
Flora Joined Kroger in 1971 as a clerk and bottle boy at Dillon's Stores (a Kroger Division).
During his career, he held a number of leadership positions with the company including vice president of merchandising, vice president of the Southwest Division, president of Michigan and Great Lakes Divisions, and senior vice president and officer presiding over seven of Kroger's supermarket divisions. In 2007, Jon was named president of Fry's.
Flora was an active community volunteer and was recognized for his numerous contributions in helping to fight hunger throughout Arizona. The Phoenix Business Journal recognized Jon as "2013 Valley's Most Admired Leaders" and the "2012 Executive Volunteer of the Year."
Amy Gibbons, president and executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, said:
"Jon was a pillar of kindness in the Valley --- our community mourns his loss. Jon was the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix's 'Star of the Year' for his extraordinary support of Valley children. Jon put the community at the center of Fry's culture at every level of the organization. Our kids in need could always count on a turkey from Fry's at the holidays! We will always remember Jon as the star who brought a smile and a warm meal to the children in Phoenix."
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.