(Oct. 24) SAN DIEGO — Joe Prandini, general manager of Santa Maria-based Bonipak Produce Co. for 25 years, died suddenly Oct. 21 as he was preparing to attend Fresh Summit 2006 in San Diego.

“He was on his way to catch a private plane from Santa Clara to San Diego in order to be at the convention to do what he loved doing, being around colleagues, customers and friends,” said Mitch Ardantz, vice president of sales and marketing.

Prandini, 61, had been with Bonipak for 28 years.

“Our organization and the industry have lost a friend and a true leader,” he said.

Services are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 27 at St. Louis de Montford Catholic Church, 1190 E. Clark Ave., Santa Maria.

Donations can be made to Marian Hospital in Santa Maria or the Salvation Army.

Prandini leaves behind his wife, Maureen; daughter, Jennifer; son, Steve; and four grandchildren.

Bonipak manager dies enroute to Fresh Summit