Obituary of Salvatore Napolitano
Salvatore P. Napolitano, a retired Postal worker, passed away at Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell on Wednesday morning, September 6, 2006. He was 71 years old. Sal was born and raised in Everett. He was the son of Italian Immigrants the late Filippo “Philip” and Sarah Napolitano. Sal was a graduate of Everett High School where he excelled in sports. He was on the football team where he played the position of fullback and was named MVP of the team. He was also a co-captain of the basketball team. Sal was a veteran of the Korean War serving his country in the United States Army. He was employed for many years in South Boston for the United States Postal Service. Sal loved music and singing. He also took pleasure in traveling and enjoying nature and the outdoors. Sal’s strong faith in God and his family where most important to him. He cherished the many special times he spent with his sisters Carmella and Jeanne and their families. He enjoyed being a special uncle to his nieces and nephews and he appreciated their visits and support in his later years. His outgoing personality gained him the unofficial title of “Mayor of Blair house”. Sal is survived by his 2 sisters; Carmella Dardeno and Jeanne Jones both of Burlington. He is the loving uncle of Nicholas Dardeno & his wife Beverly of Burlington, Philip Dardeno & his wife Kathy of North Reading, Linda & her husband Bob Gerardi of Burlington, and Allan P. Jones of Burlington. Also survived by 12 great nieces & nephews, 1 great-great niece, and 1 great-great nephew. Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington, at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Friday 4-8 p.m. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. For directions & obituary see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net & www.saintmargaretschurch.net Salvatore Philip Napolitano Thank you all so much for coming today Who was Salvatore Philip Napolitano? He spent over 20 years in a nursing home and many people would say to me “ poor Sal”. Not me, to me he was very simply the King, or as my mother would say in Italian “il Re”. It is hard to imagine that a man spending 20 years in a nursing home could have had such a great impact on so many peoples lives., but Sal Napolitano was quite a different man. Lets back up a few years, As a young man he was a tall, handsome man. Quick with a smile, a gorgeous voice, and always a good word, he was widely loved. People were attracted to his strong but gentle nature. At 5 ft, 11 inches he was by far the tallest in our family and with his strong jaw and beautiful head of hair, which he had his whole life, he was a striking man. In High School he was a tremendous athlete. He played Fullback on the Everett High School Football team. We are talking Everett High here. The Everett program is historically one of the top football programs in the state. It has often been said that Everett could beat many college programs. In a school that is the top of the heap, Sal was one of the best. In the final game of his senior year, in the great rivalry of Everett vs. Chelsea,, Sal had a spectacular game and was named MVP. In addition to being a terrific football player, he was captain of the Everett varsity basketball team. As a guard on that team he was a defensive specialist ( he always claimed he couldn’t shoot) His mother Sarah and two sisters Carmella, and Jeanne doted on him. My mother, Carmella, for whom he was like a son, would attend his games and cover her face every time he was tackled, because she didn’t want to see him get hurt. He was the King After high school he went to Northeastern University and studied engineering. Before he finished college, he joined the army. When I asked him what he did in the army, he would tell me that he played football The army sent him to Alaska, put him on a football team and he traveled around Alaska playing football. He saw much of Alaska and it represented a great experience for him. Once out of the Army, he took a job at the post office. As he got older he developed a muscle disease that took away his ability to walk and eventually put him in a nursing home. This is the point where Salvatore Philip Napolitano showed himself to be truly the King. Most people in a situation like this would lament their misfortune, not Sal Napolitano. A man who never had a harsh word to say to anyone, he was always a positive influence. He had a gentle, calming way that effected all the people around him. With his gorgeous voice he would enthrall people with the standards of the great singers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Jerry Vail. A great lover of music, he had had a tremendous record collection in his youth. Now in the nursing home he regaled everyone with his beautiful voice. The Blair house, his home for over 15 years, a wonderful place with wonderful people, asked him if he would read the announcements. Every morning he would read the day’s announcement and sing three songs over the intercom system. My wife, Kathy, prepared for him a notebook with the words to all his favorite songs, which he would sing in rotation. Sometimes he would sing a special song for some residents birthday or other special day. At Christmastime Sal would sing a special performance for the residents as a show. The Blair House eventually declared Sal to be the “Mayor of Blair House” giving him a badge and a placque to that effect. He sat in his wheel chair right at the front door and greeted visitors as they came in. . Mayor Sal Napolitano, a designation he was rightfully proud of. But there’s more to Sal Napolitano,. Every Day Sal would say the rosary. He would pray for you and he would pray for me. He would pray for our leaders, he would pray for our departed friends. He would contemplate the worlds problems and pray for God’s guidance. The Rosary and God’s influence were never far from his hand. The Great Love of his life however was The Boston Red Sox. He never missed a game, and he knew everything about them. His passion for them was tremendous. Earlier this season he called me before the first Red Sox preseason game to tell me the Sox started the next day I said great and he said but Philip, they are only on the Radio…. I said so will you listen to them on the Radio?… He said he no longer had a radio,… I need a radio… When can you come and bring me a radio? …Can you come tonight? I brought him a radio that night and set it to the Red Sox Station so he‘d be ready for the next day. After all, he was the King. While he loved the Red Sox, remember, he never, ever had a bad word to say. So when I asked him about how they were playing he would always respond optimistically. The worse he ever said was “They are not doing too good right now.” He once had a roommate in the nursing home who was a terrible pain in the neck but Sal would never say anything bad about him. Finally when the nursing home moved the roommate to a new room I asked Uncle Sal about him and he leaned over to me and whispered “I pray every day he doesn’t come back to this room” Sal had a wonderful, deprecating sense of humor. Calling himself a “Cornball” he would make a joke at the drop of a hat. Mostly poking fun at himself, he would make everyone laugh. The truth about Sal is that he was a focal point for our family. When there would be disagreement or tension in family discussions, my Brother would break the tension by loudly saying “So, how’s Uncle Sal?” and every one would laugh. Aunt Jeanne ate every holiday meal with him at the nursing home. We had the Uncle Sal Christmas party each year and everyone in the family would show up at the Nursing Home with food. The Blair house would give us a room and Uncle Sal would sing Christmas Carols, wear a Santa Hat and give out envelopes (prepared by my mother) to all the great nieces and nephews. He was, after all, the King. I’d be remiss here if I didn’t mention my Father. My Father took care of Uncle Sal’s every need for all his life, and would visit him twice a week until my father died. It took the total effort of Linda and Bob, Nicky and Bev, and Kathy and I to equal the time my father devoted to Uncle Sal. Uncle Sal considered my Father not only a Brother, but often spoke about him as his best friend…. Now they are together. The message of Sal’s Life is one of courage, of having faith and of being a positive influence He will be sorely missed in the Blair house and in many other houses. I love you God Father, and when the questions asked “So, how’s Uncle Sal?” the answer is… great.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050