Lowell Hawthorne helped launch more than 120 Golden Krust bakeries. 

BRONX, N.Y. — Lowell Hawthorne, chief executive officer and founder of Golden Krust Bakery & Grill, Bronx, passed away Dec. 2. He was 57 years old.

Born to two bakery owners, Mavis and Ephraim Hawthorne, Lowell Hawthorne grew up in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and was the sixth of 11 siblings. In 1981, he left Jamaica for the United States, where he would eventually open Golden Krust.

Upon arriving in New York, Mr. Hawthorne received an associate’s degree in accounting from Bronx Community College and graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College with bachelor’s degrees in business management and marketing. He worked as an accountant with the New York Police Department before leaving to start Golden Krust.

In 1989, Mr. Hawthorne pooled money from his siblings and their spouses to open the first Golden Krust. The company quickly took off and expanded into more than 120 stores across the country while remaining a family owned and operated business.

“Our hearts are broken, and we are struggling to process our grief over this tremendous loss,” according to a statement on Golden Krust’s web site. “Lowell was a visionary, entrepreneur, community champion and above all, a committed father, family man, friend and man of faith.”

Mr. Hawthorne is survived by his wife, Lorna, and their three sons and daughter, all who serve in different roles at the company.

A candlelight vigil was recently held for Mr. Hawthorne at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and can be viewed here. A home-going service in Brooklyn, N.Y., was held Dec. 19 at the Christian Cultural Center.