Legendary PENNINGTON businessman and Pennington Quality Market owner Lawrence A. “Larry” Roth well, 92, passed away peacefully at his home in Washington Crossing, PA Saturday, May 5.
Known for his generosity and community support, Mr. Rothwell purchased the market in 1981 and guided its success for more than 37 years. He grew the local business into one of the top independent supermarkets in the industry, in an age of corporate mega stores.
Born in Philadelphia, December 3, 1925, Larry was the youngest of 6 brothers. He also had 2 sisters including a twin Marion Cason. He was a veteran of the Navy during WW2 having served as a communications officer in Cape May NJ and Miami FL.
Mr. Rothwell spent his entire professional career in the food trades, starting as a salesman for the William Montgomery Company Philadelphia PA., which was acquired by Thriftway Foods King of Prussia PA, where he became Vice President. Thriftway was later acquired by The Fleming Company, where he also served as Vice President before leaving to buy the Pennington Quality Market.
He will always be remembered as a generous benefactor for a long list of Hopewell Valley organizations. In fact, on the day he passed, PQM as it is known locally was hosting a fund raising event for the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation. Larry’s legacy, in addition to his infectious wit, colorful sportcoats, and commitment to customer service, was a deep and heartfelt dedication to his community and his faith.
Larry created the “PQM Vs Cancer” Day in honor of his beloved first wife Mary who died of breast cancer. The annual event has raised over$200,000 for the American Cancer Society. In addition the Market’s “Hope is in the Bag” promotion has raised over $15,000 for the Capital Health Comprehensive Breast Care Program
He was a member of the Board of Directors of many notable organizations including, the Food Marketing Institute, N.J. Food Council, and Trenton Rotary. He was past President of the Pennington Business and Professional Association and served on the Finance Committee of St. George Catholic Church, Titusville. He was also a founder of the St. Joseph’s University Academy of Food Marketing, from which thousands of industry executives have graduated.
In his lifetime, Larry was recognized often for his generosity, community support and industry leadership. He received the prestigious “Industry Achievement Award” from the NJ Food Council and was named a “Paul Harris Fellow” by Rotary International. He and his family were also honored with the American Cancer Society “Volunteer of the Year” in 2000 for their fundraising efforts.
In addition, Mr. Rothwell received the 1988, “Citation Award” presented by the Academy of Food Marketing at St. Joseph’s University, as well as the Trenton Rotary “Hero” award in 2006 and the Salvation Army Certificate of Appreciation. He is memorialized by the Hopewell Valley YMCA with their annual “Larry Rothwell Social Responsibility Award” and by Advancing Opportunities with the annual Rothwell Family Golf Outing.
His continued support for the Hopewell Valley Community earned PQM the 2008 Small Business of the Year honor by the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce.
He was an golf enthusiast and a longtime member at Plymouth Country Club, Plymouth Meeting PA. and Hopewell Valley Golf Club. He was a avid fan of all Philadelphia area sports team, and enthusiastically followed the fortunes of his grandson’s sports activities as well as Notre Dame University Football.
He will always be remembered as a wonderful family man and is predeceased by his first wife of 41 years, Mary Theresa Nunan. He is now survived by his wife Mary Ann of Washington Crossing, PA and children Barbara Rothwell and Charles Henderson, Upper Makefield PA, Michael Rothwell and Judy Venonsky, Pennington, NJ and Mary Theresa and Ed Orlando, Manhasset NY. He deeply loved his 6 grandsons, Todd Henderson, Tujunga CA, Christian Henderson, Nashville, TN, Shane Henderson, Philadelphia, PA, Sean Rothwell, Pennington, NJ, Austin Orlando, Manhasset NY and Jack Orlando, Manhasset, NY. and 3 great grandsons, Hunter, Hudson and Fox and was overjoyed recently at the birth of his first great granddaughter, Verona.
A celebration of life will be held for Larry on Tuesday May 15, at St George Catholic Church, Titusville, NJ Friends may visit from 9 am-12 noon followed by a Mass of Christian Burial . Interment will be at Harbourton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to one of Larry’s favorite organizations including the Hopewell Valley YMCA, Advancing Opportunities, Ewing NJ, or the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
In memory of Larry’s contributions to his business and the Hopewell Valley Community, and so that current and former PQM Associates can participate in his services, Pennington Quality Market, will close on Tuesday, May 15.
For condolences visit blackwellmh.com