Henry Valente decided long before he died Tuesday that he didn’t want a funeral.

Instead, more than 200 people are expected to gather Friday at the Seasons Grille in Portland to pay tribute to a man who rose from humble beginnings to create a beautiful life for himself and his family.

He grew up in Milo as one of seven children. He graduated from Milo High School in 1946, joined the Navy and served as an aircraft mechanic during the Korean War.

Mr. Valente attended Ricker College while working as a janitor for Sears, Roebuck in Houlton. He graduated first in his class and rose through the ranks to district manager of Sears catalog stores for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. He was later promoted to warehouse manager of Sears, Roebuck’s distribution center for the Boston area.

He moved his family to Windham and bought Pinelyne Furniture in 1968. The only issue – he knew nothing about making furniture. His former wife, Katherine Valente, did the books. He hired a couple of guys to help him build furniture.

“It turned into a wonderful business for him,” said his daughter, Renee Tringali of Windham. “The man was brilliant. He worked all the time. He taught his children and grandchildren that. He used to say, ‘Hard work never killed anyone.””

Mr. Valente became a successful businessman, who was highly respected in the community. He was also a co-owner of many other businesses, including an awning company, nursing homes, a tractor dealership and a car dealership.

“He liked the bones of it … how to run a business and make it profitable. I think he took that into every business he ran,” his daughter said. “For the last few weeks, I’ve been calling him the man, the myth and the legend. He was larger than life. He had so much personality. People have said, thanks for sharing your dad. There was so much to share. He had enough to share with everyone.”

Mr. Valente, 85, was remembered this week as a dedicated father and the rock of the family. Tringali said he offered kids $20 to memorize and understand the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

“He believed you could get through anything in life if you lived by the words of that poem,” she said. The poem will be displayed at Friday’s celebration of his life.

Tringali said people were drawn to him.

“Our house was like a revolving door growing up,” she said. “He was a positive person. He was fun to be around. He was welcoming and accepting of everyone.”

Mr. Valente had a passion for the outdoors and enjoyed hunting. A highlight of his life was spending time at the family camp in Gouldsboro, where he had summered since he was a boy. For the past 79 years, the family has held a reunion there on the Fourth of July. For many of those years, he made hats and T-shirts with his favorite saying, “Ain’t It Great.”

Friends and family attending Friday’s service are encouraged to wear the gear. Bumper stickers with that saying will also be offered to guests. His favorite songs will be played and family pictures will be scattered throughout the room, along with notes of “Henry-isms.”

“It will be a true celebration,” Tringali said. “People will share stories. There will be a lot of laughter.”