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Flint-Saginaw grocer Al Kessel dies at age 74

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A man who owned 24 grocery stores in Flint and Saginaw before selling most of them to Kroger has died at age 74.

The Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/VLyGQ8 ) says Al Kessel was known for closing TV commercials with the words, "we're with you." Employees say that was true as Kessel regularly helped people who needed cash or other assistance.

Kessel's family says he died Friday in Naples, Fla., 15 months after being diagnosed with cancer. He began Kessel Food Markets in the 1980s and eventually had 24 in Flint and Saginaw. Twenty were sold to Kroger in 1999.

Linda Gobler, head of the Michigan Grocers Association, says Kessel was a "larger-than-life person."

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Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint

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