Frank Anicetti chats with Gunnar Benjamin of Danville, New Hampshire, and his mother, Melissa Abruzzi, at Daniel Buck Auctions in Lisbon Falls in 2016. Benjamin’s eighth-grade graduation present from his mother was to spend three days at the Moxie Festival. “He is obsessed with Moxie,” Abruzzi said about her son, who came to the auction house to meet Anicetti and to see the Moxie memorabilia that was up for auction.

LISBON — Frank Anicetti, the charismatic former owner of the Kennebec Fruit Co., died on Monday, less than a year after he had announced his retirement.

Known for years as Mr. Moxie, Anicetti died with his family by his side at the Marshwood Center in Lewiston, according to an obituary. He was 77.

“This is very sad,” Heather Purdy Scroggins of Lisbon Falls wrote on the town Facebook page. “He always had a smile and a wave for you. Rest in peace Mr. Moxie.”

“Rest eternally Mr. Anicetti,” wrote Patricia Kirwin Folliard of Newport, Rhode Island. “You kept a special spirit alive on your corner of Lisbon Falls, you are Mr. Moxie!”

For 34 years, Anicetti ran the Moxie Store in Lisbon Falls. The building at the corner of Main Street and Route 196 was built in 1901. It became Kennebec Fruit in 1913 when Frank’s grandfather, Lamberto Anicetti, bought it and opened the store for business.

Last July, just before the Moxie Festival he helped to launch, Anicetti announced that he would close the store and sell the old building.

“Too much stress, too much hassle,” Anicetti said at the time. “It got to the point where it was starting to affect my health a little bit. I decided that the stress is too much.”

He’d been having breathing problems, Anicetti said, and had landed in the hospital at one point. His doctor blamed stress from the store, and Frank said he was obliged to believe him.

At the start of 2017, a Lisbon couple bought the building and announced they would open a pub there called “Frank’s.”

After Anicetti called it quits last summer, most of the memorabilia from the store — and there was a lot of it — was sold at an auction. Daniel Buck Auctions on Route 196 was crammed full of people the day the items went up on the block and just about everything was sold.

The closing of the Kennebec Fruit Co. was sad for many, because anyone who had grown up in the area knew the store and they all knew Frank.

“Back then, Kennebec was the place to go for candy,” Faye Brown, who grew up in Lisbon Falls, said on the day of the auction. “We’d be like, ‘Can we have two of these and six of these?’ And then, ‘Can we put three of these back and have four of those?'”

After the auction, Frank continued to live in his house less than a mile from the Moxie Store. A few weeks after the 2016 Moxie Festival, he said people were still tracking him down to sign T-shirts, aprons, hats and other Moxie-related items.

Asked about life after the Moxie Store, Frank told a reporter that he planned to sleep in once in a while and to take some road trips. But life after Moxie proved to be a challenge at times.

‘”It feels weird,” Frank said.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27, at Crosman Funeral Home in Lisbon Falls.

Kennebec Fruit Company store owner Frank Anicetti shows off his famous pose — similar to one struck by a model used in early Moxie marketing — behind one of the counters at his store in 2014 in Lisbon Falls.


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