“He made sure that my mom was paid for the time she was with me,” said Lenane, who attended the Andover rally. “And without the health insurance from Market Basket, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
When his cancer treatment ended in December 2009, Lenane began working as a grocery clerk alongside his mother at the Plaistow, N.H., Market Basket.
“(Arthur T. Demoulas) definitely helped save my life,” said Lenane. “Why get rid of a guy that has such a big heart?”
Joe Angelari of Methuen shared a similar story from six years ago, when his then 47-year-old co-worker was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
“Arthur told him, ‘Don’t worry about a thing. Take all the time you need,’” said Angelari. “There’s a million stories like that.”
Some of those stories are far smaller in comparison, like when Arthur T. Demoulas made the trip out to Ashland to walk the store aisles with Angelari just days after he was promoted to manager there.
“I knew he’d come. I wasn’t surprised,” said Angelari, a Market Basket employee for 24 years. “Arthur puts the people first. He puts the employees of the company before himself. It’s unheard of.”
‘Refocus on the job’
Market Basket employees in Londonderry returned to work Friday with a sense of relief knowing their boss was still in charge, while customers offered “high-fives, smiles and congratulations,” according to store manager Mark Lemieux.
“Our hard work and teamwork paid off,” said Lemieux. “First time in my life I’ve ever been involved with something like that. ... (Now) we can refocus on the job at hand and taking care of customers again.”
For years, the Demoulas family has wrangled over of what has grown into a 71-store grocery chain, which has roots in Lowell but has expanded across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.