November 14, 2017

George Lipari, owner of Sun Fresh, passes

George Lipari, owner of Lipari’s Sun Fresh, dies

George Lipari, owner of Lipari Sun Fresh in the Red Bridge Shopping Center and a stalwart in the Red Bridge community for over 25 years, passed away Monday, November 13, from a short illness. He is survived by his wife Linda, his son Ross, daughters Jolynn and Maria, his mother Josephine and several grandchildren. He was 65.

Lipari grew up in the grocery business. In 1956, his father opened a Thriftway grocery store in Kansas City, KS., where George and his brothers learned the business. George opened his first Thriftway store in the Independence area. He sold it in 1987 after becoming a partner in a newly built Price Chopper at 103rd and State Line Rd. In 1991, George purchased Payless Groceries in the Red Bridge Shopping Center and turned it into Sun Fresh.

“I knew George only as a customer of his store, but felt like he was a friend. I think a lot of people felt that way about George,” says Rick Chambers, a longtime Red Bridge resident and Board Chair with the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “He was constantly friendly and chatting with customers. His outgoing nature helped to make Sun Fresh feel like a real community place.”

“We have lost a pillar In the Italian community and he will be sorely missed,” said Jasper Mirable of Jasper’s.  “I can still see that smile on his face and hear that laugh. So sad to see someone so young we all loved so much pass.  He gave so much back to our community.”

George had seen the Red Bridge community change in the 25 years since he opened Sun Fresh. In that time big stores like WalMart, Target and even HyVee competed for his business, while the Center became more desolate. In a recent interview with the Martin City Telegraph, George was asked what kept him at Red Bridge. His response:  “It’s my life!”

Services have not been set at the time of this writing.

 

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11 Comments

  • Sam and Anne Mollet
    2017-11-14 20:59

    So sad to hear about George. He was a bright light in the store and liked by customers and workers. He always had time to visit with everyone. George will be missed.

  • Sam and Anne Mollet
    2017-11-14 21:01

    George will be missed by the community. He always had time to visit with everyone.

  • Marilyn Termini
    2017-11-14 21:55

    George was love by so many of his family members. We were so blessed to be raised like siblings not just cousins. Our hearts are broken and heavy . George was taken from us way to soon. Our family will never be the same. Cousin you will always and forever be loved and in our hearts . Love and miss you, cousin Marilyn.

  • Amy and Brett Wood
    2017-11-15 00:16

    Crushed.
    Absolutely crushed.
    We will miss you friend.

  • Patrick
    2017-11-15 01:21

    He always had a smile. Always willing to help if we asked for donations to the community. Always there for his neighbors. Always had time to say hello. Thanks for the years you were with us my friend.

  • Chuck Cacippo Jr
    2017-11-15 11:11

    Yes my dearest friend you will be misssed by many. You are a master piece that can never be replaced that smile that laugh I will always remember. You are with God now Rest In Peace love you buddy.

  • Beth Gaddy
    2017-11-15 17:08

    So sad to hear this. Our family has shopped at Sun Fresh since it opened, my son worked there and we used to work out at the same gym with George. Regardless of the environment we saw him in, he was always so friendly. He will be missed by many. Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family, friends and all who cared for him.

  • Amber
    2017-11-15 21:27

    George was a wonderful boss and it was a privilege to work for him. He was professional, but he always showed appreciation when his employees worked hard and acknowledged when they did a good job at what they did. God Bless the Lipari family and all of George’s close friends during these difficult times.

  • Vivian
    2017-11-16 18:22

    My prayers go out to his family he always remember my because he said he had a sister law name Vivian I will miss his smile

  • Roy Young
    2017-11-16 20:51

    I met George many years ago as a salesman. He always treated me as an equal. We had many visits throughout the years. He was a great human being and will be dearly missed.

  • Bertha Packnett
    2017-11-17 21:01

    My Family the Packnett”s have been shopping at Sunfresh for 30 plus years! Terribly sorry to hear about His Passing! God bless his family and our prayers are going up for the employees, friends and neighbors including all that shop at Red bridge Sunfresh!

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