Creator of Lemonheads candy dies at age 93

Feb 9, 2012, 1:40 AM

Associated Press

RIVER FOREST, Ill. (AP) – Candy company executive Nello Ferrara lived a sweet life.

The man who brought the world Lemonheads and Atomic Fire Balls routinely serenaded the restaurants where he dined and held mandatory family dinners every Sunday, said his son, Salvatore Ferrara.

Nello Ferrara died Friday at his home in the Chicago suburb of River Forest surrounded by his family. He was 93.

The Forest Park-based Ferrara Pan company was started in 1908, and Nello Ferrara took it over from his father decades ago. The company, which also makes Red Hots and Boston Baked Beans, produces 1 million pound of candy a day, Salvatore Ferrara said.

Ferrara, the company’s current president and CEO, said his birth inspired his father to invent the Lemonhead candy.

“He always claimed that when I was born, that I came out of my mother sideways … and my head was shaped like a lemon,” he said.

The Atomic Fire Ball was invented after Nello Ferrara’s time in Japan during World War II.

Nello Ferrara also loved to sing, and did so every day _ especially when the family dined out, his son said.

“He would be walking around the restaurant, table to table, singing like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “He was an impulsive singer.”

His repertoire included Italian love songs and his favorite, “Wind Beneath My Wings”. Once, Ferrara met Frank Sinatra at a charity event, and when the two ran into each other a year later, Ferrara tried to out-sing him.

“My dad insisted that he had a better voice, he just wasn’t as good looking,” Salvatore Ferrara said.

He said he was overwhelmed by the turnout at his father’s funeral, which filled a church that seats 1,000 people.

Nello Ferrara is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn, his son and two daughters, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Police investigating fire at Colorado pregnancy center

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A weekend fire at a Christian pregnancy center in north-central Colorado is being investigated as a possible arson, police in Longmont said. The fire at Life Choices was reported at 3:17 a.m. Saturday, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and said abortion laws would be decided by […]
16 hours ago
The Very Rev. Kris Stubna, rector of St. Paul Cathedral Parish, preaches on the topic of abortion a...
Associated Press

After Roe’s demise, clergy lead faithful in praise, laments

Praise and lament for the overturning of abortion rights filled sacred spaces this weekend as clergy across the U.S. rearranged worship plans or rewrote sermons to provide their religious context — and competing messages — about the historic moment. Abortion is a visceral issue for deeply divided religious Americans. Some are sad or angry in […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Average US gasoline price drops 4 cents to $5.05 per gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell by 4 cents per gallon in the past two weeks to $5.05 for regular grade, it was reported Sunday. It was the first drop in nine weeks and came with a drop in oil prices amid deepening global inflation fears, industry analyst Trilby […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Newspaper: Oklahoma gun deaths rose as firearms access grew

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gun deaths in Oklahoma have increased since a “permitless carry” law allowing people over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit or training went into effect in 2019, according to a newspaper’s review of data. The Oklahoman analyzed state medical examiner data and found that Oklahoma has […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Bosnian Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia Milorad Dodik watches military ex...
Associated Press

Bosnian Serb leader prays for Trump’s return, praises Putin

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The leader of Bosnia’s Serbs said Sunday he hoped former U.S. President Donald Trump would return to power and that the Serbs would “wait for appropriate global circumstances” to reach for their goal of seceding from Bosnia, which he called an “unsustainable state.” Milorad Dodik, who was a rare European official […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Wallace Reid purchases fuel for the vehicle he drives to make a living using ride-share apps...
Associated Press

Greedflation: Is price-gouging helping fuel high inflation?

Most economists say corporate price gouging is, at most, one of many causes of runaway inflation — and not the primary one.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Creator of Lemonheads candy dies at age 93