Joseph Harm, operator of Shore supermarkets

Posted: February 20, 2014

Joseph G. Harm Jr., 77, of Cherry Hill, former operator of supermarkets in Brigantine and Ventnor, N.J., died Saturday, Feb. 15, at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden of a heart attack.

"Joe was one of those people, if you go into a supermarket, he would say, 'This should be here and that should be there,' " his wife, Loretta, said.

Mr. Harm would "walk in the store and say, 'I could make more business for the owners' " by making things more attractive, his wife said. "And that was Joe."

Born in Kensington, Mr. Harm graduated from North Catholic High School in 1954 and earned a bachelor's degree in food marketing at what is now St. Joseph's University in 1958.

Before the year was out, he began his career with Frankford Quaker Grocery Co., described in a 1967 newspaper report as "one of the nation's last store-owned grocery cooperatives."

Until he left Frankford Quaker in 1968, his wife said, he spent his years in store development.

"He would go around and develop stores for people that wanted to have one built" as part of the cooperative, she said.

In 1969, Mr. Harm leased for 10 years a Shop n Bag supermarket in Brigantine.

In the year before the lease expired and he let go of the store, Mr. Harm leased a Shop n Bag in Ventnor, "but that was not a good store," his wife said, "so Joe said, 'Forget it.' "

In 1980, Mr. Harm returned to his roots, in a way, as a store planning manager in Oaks for Fleming Co., which acquired Frankford Quaker in 1966.

"He would go into the store," or a property being rebuilt, his wife said, "and do the layout work."

Since 1989, Mr. Harm had been a supermarket refrigeration salesman for Cold Technology in Blackwood.

When he was with Frankford Quaker and lived with his family in Olney, his wife said, he was a football and baseball coach in Pop Warner leagues.

"He had played football for North Catholic," she said, "in the defensive backfield."

And when he and his family lived in Brigantine, he sponsored and coached Pop Warner football teams as well as Pop Warner and Babe Ruth league baseball teams, she said.

Mr. Harm was an usher for more than 20 years at Holy Eucharist parish in Cherry Hill.

Besides his wife, Mr. Harm is survived by sons Joseph G. 3d and Gregory, daughters Lori and Catherine, two brothers, and six grandchildren.

A viewing was set from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, at St. Christopher Parish, 13301 Proctor Rd., before a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass there, with interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham.

Donations may be sent to a charity of one's choice.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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