Produce Industry Mourns the Passing of Steve Volpe

Produce Industry Mourns the Passing of Steve Volpe

FRESNO, CA - We are deeply saddened by the recent news of an industry veteran’s passing. Steve Michael Volpe, Founder of Royal Madera Vineyards, passed away peacefully on June 10, 2024, at 100 years old.

Volpe was born on August 20, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Louis and Esther Volpe. He was one of seven children. Volpe was preceded in death by Sisters, Natalie Girbino, Grace Caito, and Virginia Gillombardo, and Brothers, Paul, Anthony, and Louis.

Volpe’s early years began at Our Lady of Peace Catholic School. Upon completion of seventh grade, he joined the family business, P. Volpe & Sons in Cleveland. He enlisted in the navy in 1944 and was humbly honored to serve his country.

On June 5, 1954, Volpe married Gloria Jean Marra. In 1956, the couple welcomed their only child, Cheryl. They moved to Fresno, California, in 1959 where Volpe started Steve Volpe Brokerage Company. He bought and sold produce for about 10 years before starting his table grape business, which he named Royal Madera Vineyards.

Volpe was a grower, packer, and shipper of table and juice grapes and loved being on the sales desk—entertaining buyers was his livelihood. He also spent time in Coachella Valley selling table grapes for the Coachella grape deal. Even in his later years, Volpe’s tremendous drive to work hard never wavered. Royal Madera Vineyards is currently a third generation company, proudly carrying on his legacy.

Volpe’s incredible generosity to hospitals and various charities exemplified his giving spirit. His family would like to extend a very special and heartfelt thank you to Jenifer Rivas Arreola, Alice Garcia Moore, Zysthiel Jaurequi, Maritza Sastre, and Susie Harrington, who cared for him in the most loving and compassionate way. His family would also like to extend a special thank you to Bertha Hernandez for her endless care over many years.

Volpe is survived by Gloria, his wife of 70 years; his cherished daughter Cheryl Cerniglia and her husband Kirk; two grandsons, Stephen (his namesake) and Matthew and his wife Nicki; and great grandson Paxton Stefano, the apple of his eye and his “Little Buddy.” Volpe is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to your favorite charity in Volpe’s honor. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared here for the Volpe family.

We extend our condolences to all who experienced this great loss.