Tony S. Donato, who owned three neighborhood grocery stores in Los Angeles and was a longtime Glendale resident, has died in Panorama City. He was 69.
Donato died Sunday of heart failure, said his wife, Kathleen Donato.
A native of Central Falls, R.I., he served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II from 1942 to 1946. After he was discharged, he moved to California and worked as a stock clerk for Safeway Stores in Los Angeles. In 1952, he bought a small grocery store in South Los Angeles and renamed it Kay's Market, in honor of his wife. He subsequently sold that store and bought another nearby. In 1961 he bought a third store in Eagle Rock, which closed in 1973.
Donato returned to Safeway as a cashier in 1970 and worked at several stores in the San Fernando Valley until his retirement in 1983. He lived in Glendale for the past 28 years.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years; sons Samuel and John Donato of Glendale, and Anthony Donato of Everson, Wash.; a daughter, Cathy Cope of Los Angeles, and three granddaughters.