Founder of Hi Nabor grocery store chain dies at 88
BATON ROUGE - Sam Crifasi, who founded the Hi Nabor grocery store chain, died last night at 88. He had thyroid cancer.
Crifasi had five kids at home when he took out a second mortgage on his house to open his first Hi Nabor store in 1963, at Winbourne and Victoria streets, his daughter Jan Crifasi said Thursday. When he saw the "for sale" sign on the property, he kicked it over so no one else would see it before he arranged to buy it, she said.
The store became very successful through the 1970s and Sam Crifasi opened the Jones Creek store in 1982 to respond to South Baton Rouge growth. The Drusilla store opened in 1992.
Sam and his wife Mary Lou, who died in 2009, had seven sons and two daughters. Seven of their nine children work in the family grocery business. In addition to his children, Sam is survived by 18 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year. Treatments did not stop the disease.
"He fought hard," Jan Crifasi said.
Arrangements are incomplete, but visitation will begin Sunday evening at Rabenhorst East funeral home. Visitation at Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church will begin Monday at 9:30 a.m and continue until the funeral mass at 11:30 a.m.
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