Benjamin Alfiero, 59: Co-owner of Harbor Fish Market

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PORTLAND — Benjamin A. Alfiero, 59, of Scarborough,  a well-known Portland waterfront business owner, died Nov. 16, in Portland.

Alfiero was born Dec. 2, 1955, in Portland, one of three sons born to Benjamin Louis and Gloria (Adrigeri) Alfiero. He attended Portland schools, including Oakdale kindergarten, Nathan Clifford Elementary, King Junior and Portland High School. Alfiero also attended the University of Southern Maine, but left to join the family business just a few credits shy of graduation.

A multi-sport athlete at Portland High School, Alfiero once pitched a no-hitter against Westbrook High. Alfiero continued his love of baseball by coaching his brothers’ Little League team, where he was a great influence on the kids.

His love of sports rolled over to his adulthood, where he gained a love of New England sports teams, including the Red Sox, the Celtics and the Bruins. However, Alfiero’s true love was the New York Giants, and he would become known as a “true Giants fan,” much to the chagrin of his family’s love for the New England Patriots. From the time he was a teenager to the day he passed away, Alfiero faithfully watched all the Giants’ games. He watched his last game the night before he died when, fittingly, the Giants played the Patriots.

Alfiero’s affection for the Giants was eclipsed by his iconic status at Harbor Fish Market, the family business he helped build with his father, Benjamin Sr., and two brothers, Nick and Mike.

Alfiero’s infectious personality linked Harbor Fish to the local community and beyond over the many years he ran the retail side of the business. Alfiero was a well-known figure in the waterfront community and made many friends through the business.

In 1972, Alfiero met the love of his life, Robyn Norris, whom he married in 1977. The couple moved from Portland to Scarborough in 1999.

By all accounts, Alfiero was a devoted husband; he and his wife were inseparable and always there for each other.

Robyn Alfiero fondly remembers the night she met her future husband when they were in their teens, but attended different high schools. “It was at a 7-11 Dance” held for local high school kids, she said. “Everyone thinks we met at a store, but it was at the YMCA.”

Robyn said the traits he shared with his late father also made her husband a well-liked local businessman.

“Ben had a personality like his dad,” she recalled. “It was bigger than life. He was a great listener and a very compassionate person.

“He was a ‘Curious George’; Robyn said, adding that the Harbor Market co-owner was a “people person.”

“Everything fascinated him. That very much comes from his father,”she said.

Alfiero could always be counted on to joke with his mother, Gloria, and his nieces and nephew. His infectious belly laughs, along with his animated expressions, made him the proverbial life of the party.

Although he loved all his nieces and his nephew, Alfiero had a very special bond with his great-niece, Annaka Miller.

Alfiero was predeceased by his father, Benjamin Alfiero, and mother-in-law, Norma Norris.

He is survived by his wife, Robyn Alfiero; his mother, Gloria Alfiero; two brothers, Nick Alfiero and Mike Alfiero; a nephew, Rian Alfiero; four nieces, Margaret Miller, Martha Miller, Gabrielle Alfiero and Rachel Alfiero; a great-niece, Annaka Miller; and a great-nephew, Alex Shaw.

Alfiero also had a close group of friends that included Dick and Jean Foley, and Lisa Kostopoulos.

The Alfiero family would like to express their deep thanks to all the caregivers who helped over the years, most notably Dr. James Zeitlin, Dr. Kurt Ebrahim and the staff at Gibson Pavilion.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Alfiero’s name can be made to the American Cancer Society, the ASPCA in Windham, or the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

A time to share memories was held Nov. 22, at Ocean Gateway in Portland.