Sal Giudice died on Friday December 1, 2017 at the age of 94. He died peacefully after suffering declining health and the loss of his beloved wife, Betty, on December 20, 2016.
Sal’s family emigrated from Sicily and he was born in lower Manhattan in NYC. Sal lost his father when he was 17. He was drafted into the US Army when still in high school, just after turning 18. With his Italian fluency he was assigned to the OSS (CIA’s predecessor) riding a motorcycle to check out enemy fortifications in Italy.
Betty and Sal met after WWII as students at Bowling Green University in Ohio, were married in 1950 and lived in Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Sal worked for American Can and its successors for 4 decades. Upon his retirement as a senior executive he and Betty bought 100 acres of woods in CT, cleared 30 acres, built a pond, planted 30,000 apple trees and created a pick your own orchard. Together, they envisioned what they wanted and made it happen. Having not done something before by him or anyone did not deter him. He figured stuff out and made it work.
One more story illustrates another aspect of Sal. When serving on the CT Board of Governor’s for Higher Education, he met Jerry Lowney, a dentist from Norwich CT. Jerry had been traveling to Haiti with his dental tools in a bag to serve those in need. Sal helped Jerry form the non-profit Haitian Health Foundation, served on their board and made several trips to Haiti. On one trip Jerry and Sal went on their customary 6:00 AM walks through the streets of Jeremy. They came upon a coffin maker’s shop that was also serving as a school. It turned out that there was no organized school in this area of Jeremy. The few kids who went to school in other neighborhoods would come to the coffin maker's shop after their school day to teach the kids who had no access to school. They used coffins as desks. Sal marshalled the people and resources to acquire land, build a school and support the staff. Phil served on HHF’s board years later, made trips to Haiti and saw the many kids and school that have benefited from Sal’s ability to see problems as opportunities and solve them.
Sal was always making plans and working his plan. Once he had a plan he was at ease. Sal knew that he would apply his hard work to realize his plans. He instilled this approach to life with each of his 4 kids.
He was always grateful. He would often remark how lucky he felt he was. Sometimes when others might gently point out how hard and smart he had worked to achieve what he had achieved, he would briefly accept this perspective but then he would revert back to appreciation for his good fortune. He never felt entitled to anything.
He will be missed deeply by his niece, who he was a big brother to, his four children and their spouses, five grandchildren and their spouses, his 2 great grandchildren and the many friends who have treasured their relationship with him over the years.
There are no calling hours.
The funeral service will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM at the Brewitt Funeral Home, 14 Pine St., Exeter, NH.
Burial will follow in Maple Lane Cemetery, Stratham, NH.
Some have asked where donations might be sent in remembrance of Sal. Please consider:
Haitian Health Foundation
97 Sherman Street
Norwich, CT 06360