Nicola DiDonato, 80: A hardworking and caring man

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PORTLAND — Nicola DiDonato, 80, died after a brief illness on April 14 surrounded by his family.

DiDonato was born in Portland on Feb. 25, 1932, the son of Domenica and Orazio DiDonato. He grew up on Washington Avenue and went to Portland schools. He graduated from Portland High School in 1950 and was very involved with his high school reunion committee. He also became involved in coaching Little League in East Deering for many years and served as the Little League district president in the mid-1970s.

DiDonato was an Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force when he met and married Carmela “Bunny” Antenucci on Nov. 29, 1952.

He began his career as an insurance agent and later wend to work as a salesman for Cudahy Meat Packing Company. After working there he worked for many years at Commercial Fruit on India Street behind the meat counter until they closed. DiDonato worked at Smaha’s in South Portland for many years until his retirement. After retiring, he enjoyed playing cribbage every morning in South Portland with his friends.

DiDonato was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Bunny. He is survived by his daughters Mrs. Warren (Kathy) Knowles of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Carleen Hamel of Saco; son, Fran DiDonato of Portland; grandchildren Nicholas and Brian DiDonato of Portland, Amanda Clemm of Brunswick; four great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and extended family members including his former daughter-in-law, Brenda MacDonald, whom he thought of as a daughter.

Visiting hours were held on April 18 at A.T. Hutchins LLC. Interment took place at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

The family would like to give special thanks to Linda, Deb, Todd, VNA Hospice and the many friends at The Rock Church for their care and support during DiDonato’s last weeks.

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