Peter F. McGoldrick, 82, former Acme CEO

Peter F. McGoldrick
Peter F. McGoldrick
Posted: October 30, 2011

Peter F. McGoldrick, 82, president and chief executive officer of Acme Markets from 1974 to 1980, died Saturday, Oct. 22, at Bryn Mawr Hospital after suffering a stroke at his Bryn Mawr home.

Mr. McGoldrick's daughter, Beth, said in biographical notes that during his time at its Philadelphia headquarters, "Acme was one of the largest supermarket chains in the eastern United States, operating 362 stores and employing more than 20,000 people in seven states."

She wrote that her father, while at Acme, "was especially proud of his work on nutrition programs and youth employment in concert with his dear friend Alphonso Deal, a former city policeman who headed the NAACP's Philadelphia branch."

That branch gave Mr. McGoldrick its Exemplar Award at a 1978 dinner at the Franklin Institute, she wrote.

Villanova University gave him an honorary doctorate of commercial science in 1980 and, she said, he "was instrumental in helping to found the Academy of Food Marketing at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia."

After he resigned from Acme in 1980, The Inquirer reported in August 1981, he "announced his return to the industry as owner and chief executive officer of a 15-supermarket chain based in Salem, Va."

His firm, M-F Holding, had completed negotiations to buy the Mick-or-Mack chain, the article reported.

His daughter wrote that he served as president of Montreal-based Steinberg's, "one of the largest supermarket chains in Canada, from 1982 to 1984," when he and his wife, Mary, retired to Cape Cod.

Born of Irish immigrant parents in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, Mr. McGoldrick graduated from what is now St. Columbkille Partnership School there in the Class of 1946, of which he was president and top-ranked student.

With a scholarship from the Pilomathean Society, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics at Boston College in 1950 and a master's of business administration at Harvard Business School in 1952.

"He worked full-time jobs throughout high school, college and graduate school," his daughter wrote, "including several years as a meat cutter at the First National market in Cleveland Circle," in Boston.

Mr. McGoldrick was an Air Force officer, stationed Stateside from 1952 to 1954, before beginning his career as store manager with the Kroger Co. in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

In 1956, he began an 18-year career with Jewel Food Stores in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park, rising to group vice president.

"During the tumultuous years of the 1960s and 1970s," his daughter wrote, her father "led efforts at Jewel to build modern supermarkets in the poorer sections of Chicago."

In Philadelphia, he was a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a board member of, among others, the Urban Coalition, the Old Philadelphia Development Corp., the World Affairs Council, and the Philadelphia Zoo.

He was a reader at Masses at St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Gladwyne.

Besides his daughter, Mr. McGoldrick is survived by sons Peter Jr., Michael, John, and Thomas; 13 grandchildren; former ward Grahame Davies; and companion Maura Davies. His wife, Mary, died in 1989. Their son Donald died in 2009.

A Memorial Mass was set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, 12 Monument Square, Concord, Mass.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or


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