James Buren “Jimmy” Hook, former president of V.B. Hook & Co. Inc., Columbia, S.C., died Sept. 14.

South Carolina wholesaler James Hook diesHook, 85, died after a long battle with numerous health issues, according to family members.

Hook is the second generation to work for the company that his dad, V.B. “Bill” Hook, founded in 1928.

The younger Hook worked in the family wholesaling business as a child and started full-time in 1947 after graduating from college and serving in Japan during the occupation in World War II.

He was known for his integrity, said son Marty Hook, president.

“We have had the highest credit rating you can possess continuously for well over 50 years,” Hook said. “It was his honesty, integrity and his business values. He was well-respected in the industry and had a great reputation. His legacy will be hard to follow.”

Jimmy Hook’s wife, Willeen, preceeded him in death.

Besides Marty, Jimmy Hook is survived by daughter Sherri Hook Liles, two sisters, six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Hook’s sisters, Elnora Gantt and Addie-Jo Thomas, and Thomas’s husband, Johnny Thomas, are partners with Liles and Marty Hook in the operation that formerly distributed from the Columbia State Farmers Market but recently relocated to the new South Carolina State Farmers Market and Agribusiness Center.

Marty Hook said his father helped organize the defunct South Carolina Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association.

Visitation was Sept. 15, with services and internment on Sept. 16.

The family suggests memorials be made to Brookland United Methodist Church, 541 Meeting Street, West Columbia, S.C., 29169.