SOUTH PORTLAND – Timothy Haley was an accomplished businessman who owned Haley’s Tire and Service Center and oversaw its four locations across the state.

Though his work was hugely important to him, nothing topped the love he had for his wife Kimberly Haley and their 4-year-old daughter, Mia.

Mr. Haley died early Monday after a courageous three-year battle against stage IV colon cancer. He was 44.

Mr. Haley’s family and closest friends gathered shortly after he died and spent much of the day laughing, crying and telling stories about his life.

He grew up in Portland, the middle of three children. He was a standout athlete at Cheverus High School, where he helped lead the football team to a state championship in 1985. He went on to earn his business degree from the University of Maine, and then joined his father in the family business.

He worked for Haley’s Tire and Service Center for many years before taking over the business in 2006. He worked mostly out of his Falmouth location. He ran a successful business and earned a solid reputation in the industry. His wife said he was well-respected by his employees and well-liked in the community.

She said her husband balanced work with his family and created a beautiful life for them.

The Haleys were married for five years. They met on a blind date at Una Wine Bar & Lounge in Portland. His wife said she loved his sense of humor and his positive outlook on life. She chuckled on Monday, reminiscing about the day she gave birth to their daughter, Mia. She said they joked and laughed through the delivery. She said he was a great father.

“Every night, the three of us would read stories in bed together,” she said. “We would take a family nap. He adored her. When Mia was a baby, she would kick her feet and scream when he walked through the door.

“He was a great father and a great husband. He fought (his cancer) like you wouldn’t believe.”

Mr. Haley was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in May 2009. Though his prognosis was grim, he did everything he could to fight his illness and raise funds and awareness.

In 2010, he founded Team Headstrong and participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a 192-mile bicycle race in Massachusetts. That year, the team raised more than $70,000. He trained for last year’s race, but was admitted to the hospital shortly before. He convinced his doctors to release him so that he could participate in the race. He rode a portion of the race on the second day. His wife said he fought his illness with grace and courage and inspired everyone around him.

“He didn’t complain. He didn’t feel bad for himself,” she said. “I always knew he was a strong person. He was the bravest, strongest person I’ve ever met. When he was diagnosed with cancer. I thought I would have to be the cheerleader. He made me a stronger person and a better woman.”

Many in his family felt the same way. His sister, Karen Haley of Falmouth, said he was a strong, generous and compassionate person, who had a passion for music, skiing and cooking. He loved grilling and planning elaborate dinners, his family said.

“My brother was larger than life,” she said. “He was very boisterous. He had a sense of humor that will live forever. He’s my only brother. I’m going to miss my random phone calls. I’ll miss having fun with him. I’m going to miss his silliness, and the space between his teeth.”

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

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