Charles Kalil, a longtime Houston wholesaler and former president of the Houston Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, died Oct. 7 in Houston. He was 86.

Kalil founded Houston-based Kalil Produce Co. Inc., one of Texas’ largest fresh produce wholesalers.

In 2003, Kalil Produce was purchased by Houston-based fresh-cut processor Country Fresh Inc. and renamed Houston’s Finest Produce Co. Houston’s Finest Produce filed for bankruptcy and closed in 2008.

As a B-17 gunner for the Air Force in World War II, Kalil flew 21 missions over Germany before being shot down. He spent thirteen months as a prisoner of war.

Kalil is survived by his wife of 65 years, Vivilyn; two daughters, Jeanne Kalil Hemwattakit and JoAnne Kalil Smullen; a son, John Kalil; and several siblings and grandchildren.