BIDDEFORD – Nearly every Sunday for the past 45 years or so, Vito M. Mininni cooked a traditional Italian dinner for his wife, Elizabeth, and their six children.

As his family grew, Mr. Mininni spent longer hours in the kitchen cooking his best dishes — spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna.

Last Sunday, Mr. Mininni cooked a family favorite — chicken cacciatore. All but one of his children was there.

Mr. Mininni died on Thursday at Southern Maine Medical Center. He was 82.

“I never thought that would be it,” said one of his daughters, Veronica Mininni of Biddeford. “We are all just so close. I can’t imagine being without him.”

Mr. Mininni was remembered by his family on Friday as a respected businessman and dedicated family man who had a passion for cooking and photography.

He owned and operated Vito Mininni Inc., which manufactured concrete blocks and masonry supplies on Route 1 in Biddeford. The company was started by his father in the 1920s.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Mininni and his brother James took over the business. They later expanded to Westbrook. He retired in 1987.

The Mininnis also owned Lucien Bourque Inc. in Biddeford, a ready-mix concrete and excavation business.

Mr. Mininni’s two sons, Vito Mininni III and Michael Mininni, both of Biddeford, worked for their father.

Vito said his father was mellow and soft-spoken at home. Work was another story. He was tough but fair, and his employees and customers respected him, his son said.

“People that worked for my father thought the world of him,” Vito said. “He enjoyed the people that worked there and his customers. He was such a people person. If you met him in person and talked to him for five minutes, you had a friend.”

He was married his wife for 57 years. She said Friday that they enjoyed traveling and spending time at their summer home in Denmark, where he enjoyed boating, swimming and cooking on his grill.

“We had a wonderful life,” his wife said. “I’ll miss everything. We are no kids by any means, but we were very close and loving. We did everything together and it never got old. Our feelings never changed toward each other.”

In recent years, Mr. Mininni served on the board of directors of Biddeford Savings Bank. He was an honorary corporator of the bank.

His son Michael said he will miss spending time with his father. “I’ll miss hanging out with him,” he said.

His daughter said she and her friends will miss his cooking during football season.

“Cooking kept him going,” she said. “I’ll miss being around him and talking to him. He was my father, but he was my friend too.”

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

[email protected]

 


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