Frozen Mexican food pioneer dies at 87

May 4, 2011 5:57:56 PM PDT
Louis Henry Stumberg, who co-founded the frozen Tex-Mex food pioneer Patio Foods with his father and brother in 1946, has died at the age of 87.

His son, Herb Stumberg, said his father died Tuesday at a San Antonio hospital after a long illness.

Stumberg said his father and his family founded Patio Mexican Foods in San Antonio in 1946 so wartime Army Air Force trainees who developed a taste for the city's Mexican food could have that food available after demobilization. Starting with frozen tamales and chili, Patio eventually began selling frozen dinners in the 1960s.

Stumberg remained with Patio Foods through several mergers and acquisitions before retiring. Patio is now owned by Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods.

A memorial is scheduled Saturday at First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio.

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