WINDHAM – Peter Reali Jr., an accomplished businessman and former longtime owner of P&R Snow Plowing, died Thursday after an extended battle with cancer. He was 60.

Mr. Reali operated his snow plowing business for more than 25 years. He began with a shovel and truck, and grew his business to include 15 plow trucks, as well as snow removal equipment. He had more than 50 accounts at commercial properties in the Portland area, including B&M Baked Beans, Holiday Inn by the Bay and Maine Medical Center.

“The plowing business was his bread and butter,” said his son Peter Reali III, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

“At our house, we weren’t able to talk at 6 o’clock because the (news) was on. The weather was the big thing to listen to at our house.”

Mr. Reali retired around 2007 when his health began to decline. His son said he had rheumatoid arthritis and could no longer operate his equipment.

Mr. Reali was remembered by his two sons as a dedicated worker, who had a good reputation in Portland’s business community.

In his earlier years, he owned and operated Portland’s Oldest Pub, now Matthew’s on Free Street. His son said he owned the pub for several years. He said his father worked hard all his life.

“He devoted most of his time and efforts to work,” said his second son, Dominic Reali of Wilmington, N.C. “He was constantly coming up with ideas and things to take to the next step. When he finished one thing, he (had) something lined up.”

Both sons acknowledged the sacrifices Mr. Reali made to give them a good life.

“He worked so he could send us to private school,” Peter Reali said. “He paid for us to go to college. We knew he loved us. He was all about work. His dad was the same exact way.”

Mr. Reali made time to take his sons boating on Sebago Lake and snowmobiling when they were younger.

He was diagnosed with throat cancer about four years ago. He received chemotherapy and radiation treatments and the cancer went into remission.

Two years later, doctors discovered a tumor in his shoulder. Further tests revealed he had bone cancer. In August, he fell and suffered multiple fractures.

Most recently, he lived at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough.

The brothers said their father endured months of incredible pain with the hope of returning home.

“I was just telling my mom that it’s kind of weird,” Peter Reali said of his father’s passing. “It’s comforting to know that you always have someone to call when you have a problem. It makes you grow up a little quicker when your parents aren’t there anymore.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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