GRAY – Dennis Daniello Sr. mastered the art of balancing his two jobs with being a family man.

“He was the best,” said his wife, Joyce Daniello of Gray. “I couldn’t have asked for a better life. We had two kids and four beautiful grandchildren who were the love of his life. He was always so happy to be a family person. He always wished he could have done more.”

Mr. Daniello died on Sunday at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough. He was 61.

Mr. Daniello was remembered by his family and co-workers on Wednesday as dedicated family man who worked hard to provide for his family.

He worked for Seltzer & Rhydholm, a Pepsi distributor in Portland, for 35 years. He delivered Pepsi products to convenience stores and supermarkets like Hannaford and Shaw’s. He retired about five years ago.

Stephen Locke, a food service sales representative for what is now Pepsi Beverages Co., said he was a personable guy who enjoyed talking with people.

“He always had a smile,” Locke said. “He liked to joke around. A lot of his customers liked him. People still ask about him. … I’m going to miss him. I’m sure there are a lot of people that will.”

Mr. Daniello also worked in the circulation department at The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He joined the newspaper in 1987 as a circulation helper. After newspapers rolled off the press in South Portland, he prepared bundles for delivery drivers.

He also assisted the route manager with duties such as newspaper re-deliveries and installing newspaper tubes in rural areas of the state. He worked until April 2010, when his health began to decline.

Sharon Leeman, a regional home delivery manager for MaineToday Media Inc., said Wednesday that he was an honest and hardworking guy who loved the Boston Red Sox and lit up when he talked about his grandchildren.

Vinnie Pirone, a circulation helper for the Press Herald, said Wednesday that Mr. Daniello was well liked and easy to work with.

“It’s sad. He was too young to die,” Pirone said.

Mr. Daniello was married for 43 years. The couple raised two children.

His wife said they had a good life together. She talked openly Wednesday about why her husband worked so hard for so many years.

Mr. Daniello grew up in Rockland, one of nine children. When he was 15, his father died. He left high school to work and help support his mother and siblings.

“That changed his life tremendously,” his wife said. “He has always been a worker. He wanted to be able to provide for his family. He wanted to give (us) what he never had.”

Mr. Daniello enjoyed taking family trips to Disney World in Florida and taking his grandchildren to Old Orchard Beach. He was a fixture at their sports games.

He was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2010. About a year ago, he started chemotherapy. He recently had major surgery to remove the cancer.

“Dennis had a lot of faith,” his wife said. “He believed in God. I’ve never seen a man so at peace. He was at peace with God … with everything.”

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

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