Francis “Frank” Montello was many things to many people, but few of his associates, clients, students, friends or neighbors may know just how much music colored Mr. Montello’s life.

“Music was my dad’s life. It was a big part of our family,” said his daughter, Maxine Montello, 24.

“I think my dad grew up on music. He brought (son) Dominic to a Who concert, my mother went to see Paul McCartney. When we were much younger, Dad told me all the time in Portland, all the big groups came to Portland.”

Mr. Montello died Sept. 29 after a battle with cancer. He was 57.

“He just was a great dad. He was really a good friend to have, too,” Maxine Montello said.

Mr. Montello carried a deep desire to help others, said his wife of 33 years, Sylvie Montello.

He owned a real estate company but also taught classes, wrote a weekly newspaper column, and helped to start a golf tournament to raise money for youth scholarships.

“He was a very charismatic person. He engaged whoever was near him or whatever he was doing. It’s tough for me. The letters coming in from appraisals, neighbors, from people and friends who moved away, it’s overwhelming. It’s been lovely. He was my best friend,” Sylvie Montello said.

Family was always at the forefront.

From a decade ago, when he introduced his three children — Maxine, Dominic and Connor — to wild tubing on Long Lake, to more recent years when he attended every one of their sporting events at Deering High School, Mr. Montello was all about outdoors fun and sports.

“He was at almost every single one of my swim meets, in a section with adults who were like him. They were always at every meet screaming their brains out,” said Dominic Montello, who went on to place at the Class A state championship meet.

But it was Mr. Montello’s love of music that was the background theme of his happy life.

“I remember him coming down the stairs, every morning, he always had a song. He would come down the stairs singing a song, even to the end when he was ill. I had that every morning,” Sylvie Montello said.

For most of the past six years, Maxine Montello spoke to her dad twice a day, nearly every day, she said. She spoke to him more when she took a leave of absence from her job last summer and moved home from White Plains, N.Y., to spend time with him.

Once again, music brought them together.

And when Mr. Montello’s friends and family gather at the celebration of his life, the joyful themes from his rich life will be played out in a musical compilation they created together.

“He really thought about what songs he wanted, and he wanted to make sure there was a song for each person. And they’ll know it when they hear it,” Maxine Montello said.

The song for his only daughter was one they shared when she was a child, a song they danced to, The Beatles’ “And I Love Her.”

His wife agreed music was one way Mr. Montello celebrated life, and he did so all the time.

“In the end, when he knew his time was limited there were no words that didn’t get spoken, and no love that didn’t get shown,” she said. “He had that gift of time, and he took advantage of it. We are thankful we had that time with him.”

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

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