John Palanza, 89

South Portland baker and business owner John Palanza passed away last week. Palanza owned the Uncle Andy’s Bakery in South Portland for 45 years, from 1951 to 1996.

In the late 1940s, Mr. Palanza was hired by Fred Nanney, the original owner of Uncle Andy’s, to run the doughnut shop. In 1951, Mr. Palanza acquired Uncle Andy’s, growing it from a doughnut shop to a full-service bakery.

For more than 40 years, he produced breads, cakes, pies, doughnuts and assorted pastries for hundreds of loyal customers, many of whom would wait in line outside the bakery on busy weekend mornings and on holidays. The police department assigned a traffic cop to direct traffic past the shop during its busy times.