Salvatore Messina, of West Islip, passed away Nov. 26, 2019.He was 76.

Sal was born in New York City on Jan. 17, 1943, to Vincent and Frances (nee D’Angelo) Messina, Sal was the proprietor of the renowned produce chain of stores, “The Fruit Tree”.

In 1970, he opened his first location in Copiague; an 800-square-foot building. Four years later, he purchased a 30,000-square-foot lumber building which stood directly behind making it the largest produce market.

He would later open stores in Massapequa, Lindenhurst, and Florida.

After selling his business and embarking on the retirement he so rightfully earned, Sal went back to work. He re-acquired his Copiague location in 2004 and renamed it, “Sal’s Fruit Tree”.

Sal was the subject of many news articles over the years where he discussed his passion for his work; “It’s a hard way to make a living but I love this business”, he once said in an interview.

He attributed much of his success to the values he learned from his parents.

On May 18, 1996, he married his beloved wife Angela (nee Antonacci). In addition to his wife, Angela, he is survived by his cherished twin daughters, Francesca Messina & Arianna Messina, the apples of his eye.

Sal is the dear brother of Francine Messina Rizzo, as well as the late, Peter Messina, Catherine Messina, Josephine Messina Troyano. He is also survived by his loving granddaughter, Mia, his daughter in law, Jennifer and nephews and nieces, Vincent, Debbie, Susan Messina, John, Marc, Dawn, Vincent and Joanna Troyano, Michelle Street, Salvatore, Robert & Jamie Rizzo.

The above obituary was submitted by the family of Salvatore Messina.