PORTLAND – Michael J. Taliento, 69, loving husband, devoted father and wonderful grandfather, died Wednesday evening Sept. 1, 2004, at his home in Portland, after a long illness surrounded by his beloved wife, seven children, 18 grandchildren and many others who loved him. The fourth of six children, Mike was born in Portland, April 8, 1935, a son of Dominic L. and Mary E. Coombs Taliento. He was a loyal son and dedicated to his older brother, four sisters, sister and brothers-in-law. A graduate of Cheverus High School and Boston College, he excelled in sports playing football, baseball and basketball. While at Cheverus he received many athletic awards and achievements and was recognized as a team captain, leader and winner. Mike met his future wife, the former Wilma Jean Doyon of Waterville through a mutual friend while she was attending Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. They were married on Sept. 3, 1956. Upon his graduation from Boston College, they returned to Portland where he joined his father Dominic and brother John in operating their family business Federal Supermarkets, which later became known as Federal Foods. For more than 30 years, the business grew until there were two stores in Portland, one in North Windham and one in Bridgton. Later, Mike established and operated Michael’s Deli and Variety in Westbrook for 12 years. Throughout the years, his children, countless relatives and friends all learned to admire his strong work ethnic and dedication to customer service. Mike was considered a man of patience with a voice of reason. Mike’s Catholic faith was the cornerstone of his life. A communicant of 45 years at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church he was actively involved in many fundraising events. Mike was always ready to lend a helping hand and assisted in founding St. Joseph the Provider, an organization that helped the needy. He was a former member and supporter of the Knights of Columbus, Associated Grocers of Maine, Boston College Club, Maine Right to Life Committee, St. Joseph’s Men’s Club, Portland Boys Club, and the Italian Heritage Center. He served on many boards and was an honorary member of the NAACP. Mike was respected in the business community and was a man of highest integrity. He loved family gatherings and large Sunday dinners always beginning with grace and raising toasts. “Love One Another” and “Go Easy” were his mottos. As a grandparent, he especially enjoyed moments with his grandchildren. “Grandpa” was often seen with his grandchildren sitting in his lap, reading stories and teaching them about the importance of family. His strong morals and values were exemplary. Mike was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. He enjoyed salmon fishing and family time at the summer compound on Sebago Lake. In addition to his wife of 48 years of Portland, he leaves his children and grandchildren, Sabrina Taliento Nickerson, children, Sarah and Arianna of Portland; Elizabeth M. Taliento-Zappala, husband, Daniel M., of Friendship, children, Jeremiah, Benjamin and Jenileigh St. Clair all of Portland; Jennifer Taliento Dolley, children, Michaela, Julianna and MacKenzie of Doylestown, Pa., Colonel Michael J. Taliento, Jr., USA, wife, Tamela (McCurdy) Taliento, children, Christian and Emily of South Korea; Thomas J. Taliento of Windham; Juliann Taliento Walsh, husband, Coleman P. Jr., children, Coleman III, Charles, Marykate and Margaret, of Portland, Angela Taliento Apon, husband, Donato G., children, Daniella, Olivia, Claudia and Donato Jr., of Portland. He also leaves four sisters, Mrs. E. Robert (Margaret D.) Mathews, Mrs. Caesar (Mary T.) Papi, Mrs. Guy (Patricia A.) Quatrucci, Mrs. Peter (Diana F.) Harris, all of Portland; several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Mike was predeceased by his mother and father; brother, John and his wife, Rosemarie. Visiting hours will be held from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2004, at Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St. Rosary will be recited at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Sept 8, 2004, at the funeral home, followed by a concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Interment will follow in the family lot at New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Catherine McAuley High School, Cheverus High School, Maine Right to Life or to Mercy Hospital. The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to his primary physicians, their nurses and staff, along with the staff at Casco Bay Dialysis Center and Hospice for their precious loving care. A very loving thank you to Mary Muca, a special angel sent to our family. As was important to Mike’s family values, as you sit down with your family tonight, cherish the love, food and good conversation which will create lasting memories. In his memory, the Taliento family’s home remains opened forever to Mike’s many family and friends to visit while keeping his spirit alive. Those wishing to send tributes in Mike’s memory may do so at www.mem.com.