Robert J. Brocato, 80

Robert J. Brocato

GORHAM — Robert Joseph Brocato lost his life to lung cancer on Dec. 2, 2012. His family was with him providing love, comfort and occasional falderal.

For those who did not know him well, for future family and for those who loved him most, we will try to convey here the essence of his 80 years.

Born to Joseph and Marion (Mucci) Brocato on Aug. 22, 1932, in Lawrence, Mass., he moved to Maine at a young age and lived there his entire life, first in Sanford then the greater Portland area. A talented schoolboy athlete and scholar at Sanford High School, he met Shirley Pelletier at a high school YMCA dance. They quickly fell in love, married and through eight children and 61 years of marriage, grew and sustained that love. A steel estimator for his entire professional career, he estimated projects well after retirement.

Family was everything. He remained close to his four sisters: Louise Caron of Sanford; Helen Wilkins of Sanford; Rita Precourt of Seekonk, Mass., and predeceased by sister Francis Hevey of Dubuque, Iowa.

He loved the Yankees, the Redskins and horse races big and small. Foxwoods was a favorite destination, always accompanied by his sister Helen and nephew, Rob Wilkins and often by his sister Rita and niece, Diane Precourt. He quickly became a favorite guest; there, he was simply “Uncle Bob.” For eight years, the family met once a month in honor of their father to sample beers and compete for the best “toast;” the family called it the “Beer Tasters and Toasters Society.”

Being Italian was dear to his heart. A trip to Cefalu, Sicily, to visit his father’s ancestral village, was indescribable. His wife Shirley stole his heart, his children knew his love, and those close to him benefited from his many kindnesses, including the hundreds of cancer victims who received the record breaking amount of platelets he donated for years.

He was predeceased by his son, Robert.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; children Joe Brocato of Waterboro; Julie Crandall of Windham; Anthony Brocato of Naples; Kathie LeBel of Westbrook; Maria Picher of Windermere, Fla.; Lisa Latno of Gray; and James Brocato of Somerville, Mass.; his nine grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren who filled his life.

Relatives and friends are invited to call on Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Lafrance-Lambert & Black Funeral Home, 29 Winter Street, Sanford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish at Holy Family Church, 66 North Avenue, Sanford. Private burial will be in St. Ignatius Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale. Condolences may be expressed at

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating blood or platelets to the Red Cross. Donations to your favorite cancer research or prevention organization are also encouraged.

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