Salvatore ‘Sal’ Zarrelli
Mr. Salvatore “Sal” Zarrelli, age 78, of Gloversville, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, July 24, surrounded by family and close friends.
He was born August 7, 1939, in Melizzano, Italy, the son of the late Antonio and Rosa DeBlasis Zarrelli. Sal was a talented brick and stone mason who was employed by BAC Local 2. He retired from the union in 1997. He also worked construction and masonry with his brothers and son in and around the Capital Region. Sal was extremely social and family oriented. He enjoyed spending time with his many friends at the YMCA and Arterial Lanes. Sal’s bocce team, “The Untouchables” were multi-season champions at the Hill Street Bocce League.
Salvatore was only 16 years old when he arrived on Ellis Island. He was a hard worker who sometimes held three jobs in order to buy passage for his wife Caterina, parents and four brothers to America for better opportunities. Between jobs or after work he practiced his true craft – masonry. He cut and dry-stacked bricks and blocks on the garage floor over and over with perfection, until he could do it with his eyes closed.
Whether you knew him as Salvatore, Sal, Papa, Uncle Sal, or Compare (Godfather), he was loved by all for his bigger than life personality. Maybe he bought you coffee and refused to take your money, or busted your chops on the jobsite. Or maybe you had a ‘spirited debate’ over politics at the ‘Y’. Or he took your money over a game of bocce or cards. Sal treasured his family and friends more than anything. You could say that Sal lived by the three F’s — family, friends and figs.
Sal loved simple things, but was far from a simple man. He traded stocks on Wall Street with the knowledge and confidence of a savvy pro in a custom-made suit. He could talk politics and current events with the passion of a cable news pundit. And he never shied away from giving his opinions on any issue.
As a mason, Sal built sturdy and beautiful structures; many that will last many lifetimes. Sal knew that quality structures need a strong footing to build on in order to survive. And that’s exactly what Sal did in life. As the family patriarch, the strongest structure he ever built was his family which will also stand the test of time.
Salvatore is survived by his wife, Caterina; one son, Antonio Zarrelli (Deborah); two daughters, Assunta “Sue” Satterlee (Christopher) and Rosa Eck (Timothy); five grandsons, A.J. Zarrelli (Holly Garrison), Nicholas Zarrelli (Danielle Netti), Spencer Satterlee, Trevor Eck and Alexander Zarrelli; one granddaughter, Tristen Satterlee (Brody Stewart); one great-granddaughter, Domenica Zarrelli; and four brothers, Geraldo Zarrelli, Dante Zarrelli, Amedeo Zarrelli and Ippolito “Pino” Zarrelli. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at 9:30 a.m. at Church of the Holy Spirit, 153 S. Main Street, Gloversville, NY, with the Rev. Matthew Wetsel as celebrant. Burial will follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Johnstown, NY.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, July 27, 2018, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam, NY.
In lieu of flowers, considering Sal’s commitment to staying physically fit — memorial contributions may be made to the YMCA for youth memberships, c/o Fulton County YMCA, Sal Zarrelli Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 629, Johnstown, NY 12095
The Zarrelli family would like to thank Dr. Tai and staff of NYOH Amsterdam Cancer Center, Mountain Valley Hospice and the YMCA family, especially Chris Garguilo for their compassionate care. Please visit the online memorial at www.brbsfuneral.com.