Edward R. Anania Sr., 80: Longtime storekeeper was proud of family, heritage

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PORTLAND — Edward R. “Ed” Anania Sr., 80, died unexpectedly on May 15 at Maine Medical Center.

Anania was born in Portland on June 5, 1934, a son of Italian immigrants, Pietro and Linda DelMonte Anania. The second-youngest of eight children, he was raised on Newbury Street in Portland’s “Little Italy” neighborhood, and remained proud of his Italian heritage throughout his life.

He attended Portland schools and graduated from Portland High School in 1952. Soon afterward, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served aboard the USS Lloyd Thomas during the Korean War. During his military service, he visited 19 countries and rose from the rank of radar man to petty officer second class.

Following his time in the Navy, Anania partnered with his brothers Joe and Peter as new owners of the Newbury Street Market, which later became Anania’s Variety Store. There he continued to work for the rest of his life.

In 1957, Anania met Rosemary Connolly, and they married on Sept. 1, 1958. Together they raised four children, primarily on Massachusetts Avenue in Portland.

Anania was always very active, and traveled extensively, from Aruba to Ireland. He also enjoyed visits to beaches and casinos. In retirement, he started each day by visiting friends at the Italian Heritage Center, where he was a lifetime member. He was also a member of the Portland Elks Lodge and a communicant of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Remembered by many for his kindness and youthful spirit, Anania most of all loved spending time with his family and boasting about his grandchildren.

Anania was predeceased by his wife; two brothers, Antonio and Emerico Anania; a sister, Marianina Vassallo; and a grandson, Andrew Walker.

He is survived by a son, Edward R. Anania Jr. and wife, Barbara, of Portland; three daughters, Maureen Macisso and husband, John, of Portland, Catherine Walker and husband, Michael, of Portland, and Patricia Beattie and husband, Brian, of Westbrook; two brothers, Peter Anania and wife, Claire, of Portland, and Joseph Anania and wife, Anna, of Portland; two sisters, Vivian Parker and husband, David, of Portland, and Linda Burwell, of Corpus Christi, Texas; 10 grandchildren, Jimmy, Nick, Beth, Michael, Maria and husband, Aaron, Jenna, Sammi, Angela, Michaela and Eve; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated May 20 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with the Rev. Harold Moreshead as celebrant. Interment with military honors followed at New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.

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