Maine construction company founder Carlo Cimino dies at 84
Mar. 17—Carlo M. Cimino, the founder of Westbrook construction contractor C.M. Cimino Inc. who died Thursday at age 84, hated to be away from his work.
His son, Anthony Cimino, remembers his father and mother going on one vacation, a trip to the Caribbean. But Carlo Cimino had trouble sleeping while away from home, so he would call his children at night. They would play a tape recording of something sure to soothe him: concrete sliding down a construction chute.
"He loved his kids and he loved his work," Anthony Cimino said of his father. Carlo Cimino's wife, Dorothy, died Jan. 18 at age 83. The two will be buried together at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yarmouth in May.
They were married for 62 years and were residents of Cumberland Foreside.
The couple were in relatively good health until recently, Anthony Cimino said. But Dorothy Cimino suffered a fall and broke her hip last fall, he said, and Carlo Cimino had congestive heart failure, lymphoma and kidney problems that led to a hospitalization over the winter. He was in the hospital until early this week and died three days after returning home.
Carlo Cimino worked regularly at his office until last year. Son Christopher Cimino said his father rose early — often before sunrise — and went in to check the mail, review project reports and keep up to date on the business. He was also active in real estate as president of C.M. Cimino Realty Inc., which owns and operates senior housing in southern Maine.
"I don't know anybody in the state who had the knowledge he had," Christopher Cimino said.
Carlo Cimino started in his father's construction business in 1961, after graduating from the University of Maine with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He launched his own construction business in 1966. One of his first projects was Ledgewood Apartments, a 60-unit building on Graham Street in Biddeford.
Christopher Cimino said that was one of the construction projects in which his father retained ownership. He would make regular visits, even while in his 70s and 80s, to make sure the property was well-maintained.
His company also renovated and expanded high schools in Portland and Biddeford, and built multifamily and senior housing projects throughout Maine.
Cimino was a member of the Associated General Contractors of Maine, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Maine State Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute. He served on the board of advisors for Cheverus High School and was a former board member for the Osteopathic Hospital of Maine.
Outside of work and civic duties, his sons said, Carlo Cimino devoted himself to his wife, his three sons — one of whom, Michael, died away in 2008 — and his 10 grandchildren. The elder Cimino regularly attended games they played in during school.
"My mother was a baseball widow from Little League until we got out of college," Anthony Cimino said.