Daniel Pelotte, a longtime building trades supervisor at Sappi Fine Paper in Skowhegan, was the identical twin of his brother, David Pelotte, of Benton.
The brothers were born 30 minutes apart in Waterville. They dressed the same and ate the same types of foods. They once had the same vehicles and lived less than 60 feet from each other on East Benton Road.
Daniel Pelotte, formerly of Benton, died Thursday in Westbrook after a long struggle with Lyme disease. He was 64.
“We have always been together,” said David Pelotte. “You get that empty feeling inside you. Being an identical twin, I look in the mirror and see him. Now I look over and he’s not there anymore. I break down and have my moments. I miss him big time, ya know?”
The brothers graduated from Lawrence High School in Fairfield in 1967. They went to the same college, Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in South Portland, where they both graduated in 1969 with degrees in building construction.
Soon after, Daniel Pelotte took a job at Scott Paper Co. in Winslow. David went to work for the Maine Department of Transportation.
Around 1976, Daniel Pelotte began working for S.D. Warren Company in Skowhegan, which later became Sappi Fine Paper. He worked for the company for 32 years, retiring as a building trades supervisor in 2006.
His brother said he supervised employees who performed a range of duties, from painting to building furniture.
“Dan loved his work,” his brother said. “He loved working with wood. He had a shop behind his house and liked working in there making novelties or furniture. He was very talented.”
Mr. Pelotte’s interest in woodworking was an early distraction from some of the heavy emotional and physical challenges he faced in life. He had been married twice. In 1996, one of his two daughters, Jacqueline Pelotte, died at age 26. In 2003, a granddaughter, Taylor Pelotte, died of cancer. In 2008, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease and a longtime relationship with a girlfriend ended. In 2011, Pelotte’s mother died. Then, as his Lyme disease progressed, he stopped driving.
“He stayed in his house as long as he could,” his brother said. “He lost his family. He was sad all the time. He knew … it is what it is and he made the best of it.”
Mr. Pelotte enjoyed spending time with his dog, Mr. Buttons. He also found joy in visiting Bar Harbor and Boothbay Harbor, and in spending time with his brother and his wife, Michelle Pelotte.
“He was like our third wheel. He was my best friend. It hurts,” his brother said.
As for David Pelotte, he will continue to wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and see his brother smiling back at him.
“I feel him not being here and me being his identical twin, it’s like two of us are in one body,” he said. “I met two gentlemen this morning. I’ve never seen them. They thought I was Dan. Those are the things that will remind me of him when I run into people he knew.”
Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: