If you ever visited the former Espan’s Lunch on Veranda Street in Portland, chances are you remember Phyllis Mazziotti.

She was a popular waitress who worked there for 35 years and always greeted patrons with a friendly hello, a warm smile or a kind gesture.

“Everyone knew my mother,” said Stephen D. Mazziotti Sr. “She was just a peach of a woman.”

Mrs. Mazziotti died Saturday after a brief illness. She was 89.

A longtime resident of Sherwood Street in Portland, Mrs. Mazziotti was a loving wife and the mother of two children. In her early years, she was a homemaker. When her children’s ages hit double digits, she began waitressing at Espan’s. She worked there five days a week and walked to work every day. She never learned how to drive a car. Her mother didn’t drive either.

“She enjoyed the people,” her son said. “She enjoyed going there. She was close to the people she worked with. People loved her friendly smile and outgoingness.”

Stephen Mazziotti said his mother worked hard to help provide a good life for her children. He recalled the years she scraped by financially and saved her tips to buy them new sneakers or clothes or the latest fad toy.

“She would find ways to get and buy those sneakers for us,” he said. “That’s the kind of lady she was. She made sure we didn’t go without. She always took a back seat to what our needs were. It was the way she was until the day she died. It was in her nature.”

Mrs. Mazziotti stopped working around 1995. About seven or eight years ago, the popular eatery became Veranda Thai.

Outside work, she was remembered as a woman who devoted her life to her family. She was married to Domenic Mazziotti for 63 years. He died in 2010. Her son said they were very happy together.

“They had a model relationship, just perfect,” he said. “Everything you would expect to see on a TV sitcom. They would fight and argue like any couple, but my mother would always prevail. Most times, my father just gave in. They had a very close relationship, very loving right till the end.”

A hallmark of her life was cooking and baking for family and friends. A couple of her specialties included whoopie pies, cream puffs and cakes.

Her son said she loved having family over for holidays and Sunday dinners. He noted the family joke: “She cooked enough to feed an army.”

“We have a very tight-knit family, and she was the backbone,” he said.

Mrs. Mazziotti had a few hospitalizations over the past year. Her son said she developed congestive heart failure and kidney failure. He noted that his brother, Richard Mazziotti, suffered a fatal heart attack in 1993.

“I took my mother to the cemetery every Memorial Day,” her son said. “She was devastated by his death. She never got over it till the day she died. … I’m truly hoping that she is with my father and brother now. She deserves it. With the life she lived, she deserves it.”