(Feb. 27, 10:00 a.m.) James J. Jardina Jr., former president and chief executive officer of J.J. Jardina Co. Inc., Atlanta, died Feb. 13 from complications due to pneumonia. He was 82.

Jardina’s father, James Sr., founded J.J. Jardina in 1925. Jimmy, as Jardina was known, joined the company after graduating from the University of Georgia in 1950. Before that, he served in the U.S. Army in World War II.

When Jardina joined his father, J.J. Jardina was a two-man company. He performed many duties in the early years of the company, taking over as president and chief executive officer when his father retired. He was president until 1998, when nephew Mike Jardina took the position. He was chief executive officer until his retirement in 2005. Even after his retirement he remained active in the company, coming into work several times a week, Mike Jardina said.

“He created his own niche, carrying on what granddad started,” Mike Jardina said. “He was well known and respected, a good man, with great business practices, very ethical. He was loved by everyone.”

J.J. Jardina, located on the Atlanta State Farmers Market, is a major distributor of fresh fruit throughout the southeast. It sources products from all major production areas throughout the world.

Jardina is survived by his brother Philip, one niece, five nephews, eight grandnieces and seven grandnephews.