When Ronald Bianco was growing up, he liked spending summers working on the Woodbury Heights dairy farm of his aunt and uncle, Ethel and Pat Bianco.
And when he opened his canning firm, Ron-Son Mushroom Products, in 1968, son Jim said, "he lived in Hatfield, rented a cannery in Bridgeton, stayed with his aunt and uncle, and would come home on the weekends."
It worked out.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Mr. Bianco, 79, of Pilesgrove, N.J., president of the New Jersey Food Processors Association in 1983 and 1984, died of complications from kidney failure at home.
The family firm, of which Jim Bianco is now owner and CEO, is Ron-Son Foods in Swedesboro, an importer of Italian products from artichokes to vinegars for restaurants and caterers.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Bianco graduated from Olney High School in 1953 where, his son said, he was the fullback on a football team quarterbacked by Lee Elia.
Elia went on to a major-league baseball career as a shortstop, managing the Phillies in the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
After working as a machinist at a tool and die firm in King of Prussia in the early 1960s, Ronald Bianco cofounded Ron-Son Mushroom Products in 1968, canning mushrooms from farmers around Kennett Square.
His partner, Leon Pizzini, sold his part in the firm to the Biancos in 2001, Jim Bianco said, about the time that Ronald Bianco retired.
Two years after opening the firm in 1968, the partners had bought their own factory, he said.
Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, he said, "everything is imported now."
The imports arrive, he said, "in big-size containers that you would never find on the store shelves."
Besides its headquarters in Swedesboro, the firm rents space in warehouses in Kenilworth, N.J., Cincinnati, Dallas, and Tampa.
Eddie Albornoz, the Swedesboro manager, recalled Mr. Bianco as "an excellent person . . . a friend to me" over the last 20 years.
A competitive bowler, Mr. Bianco could be found on Wednesday afternoons in recent years playing poker with friends at the Moose Lodge in Woodstown, N.J.
Besides his son, Mr. Bianco is survived by his wife, Joyce; daughter Carol Verechia; two sisters; a brothers; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son, Ronald.
A visitation was set from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the Adams Funeral Home, 64 Broad St., Woodstown, before an 11:30 a.m. memorial service there. Interment is to be private.
Donations may be sent to the Salem County Humane Society, Box 214, Carneys Point, N.J. 08069 or to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation at www.jdrf.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.adamsfuneralhome.org.