Salvatore “Sam” Casella III


He had a very formal sounding name; but to most of us he was The Bear. As big and burly as he was, he was also kind and generous. Like his father, Sam loved to spend time working on the family farm, and he also served as a Special Officer with the Woolwich Township Police Department. In high school, Sam worked a little harder getting suspended than he did on schoolwork – he and his best friend, Ronnie, once drove a tractor through the halls of Kingsway High School, hoping they could return to work instead of the classroom. He learned his trade at Azzari Construction, a business started by his uncles in the 1950s. He later opened his own company, Good Fellows Concrete. They joke that their specialty is “vests and shoes”; in any case, customers always pay on time, and the work is flawless. He revered the Italian traditions of the community, always active on St. Alfio’s Committee and was past president of St. Michael’s Mutual Club. He had no problem being the center of attention – you’d often see Sammy up on stage calling out the winning car raffle tickets at the annual St. Michael’s Celebration. For holiday meals (or any meals), he loved to gather his huge extended family to his home, where he always was supervising the operation.

One day at the Dutch Inn Coffee shop, he nudged his friend, Gino, pointing out a pretty girl; Gino’s response was “that’s my daughter”. Sammy waited a little while before asking out Gina Cipollini; it led to a 35 year marriage blessed by two daughters, Christina Harris (Richard) and Andrea Sorli (Kevin) and a granddaughter; Gianna Marie Harris (Gianna is a miniature Bear “cub”). He is survived by his sister, Lucy Ann Casella; his brother, John (Karen) Casella and their children, Nicholas and Sophia; and a large extended family. He was predeceased by his parents, Salvatore Jr. and Angelina.

Come celebrate 64 great years Thursday 6-8 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. at St. Claire of Assisi, St. Joseph’s Church, Swedesboro where Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30. Interment St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Woolwich. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family.

30 thoughts on “Salvatore “Sam” Casella III

  1. Toni Ascenzia

    I am sitting here trying to believe this is true and I can’t I will miss my friend and his kind ways Sam you always made me feel like family and even though we would go long periods of time not seeing each other it did not matter we always picked up where we left off I love you my friend and will miss you dearly! I willpray for peace and strength for your Beautiful family Gina And girls Lucy Ann and Johnny and family please know I am sending my love as condolences to you all always.
    RIP my friend

  2. Leah Shaw

    Such a devastating loss for our family. Things will never be the same. No words can express the sadness in my heart for Aunt Gina, Christina and Andrea. I pray he is sitting at the head of the table in heaven drinking Crown Royal smiling down on all of us. Uncle Sam, you will be missed!

  3. Debra A. Landolfi

    Gina and family, I am lost for words at the loss of Sam. He was always a sweetheart to me and those around him. I wish I could say something to ease your pain. Just know I love all of you and my heart and thoughts will be with you. I am sorry I can’t be there as I am away but my prayers will be for all of you. Love you dearly, Deb Landolfi xxoo

  4. Michael Pszwaro

    Gregarious, kind, smiling, generous, fatherly, loving in a special way and friendly to a fault— a description of Sammy that few if any would dispute.
    Husband – Father- Worker.. a man to be loved and cherished
    Till the day I pass I will always remember that beautiful fall day at the Kingsway Homecoming Parade with a float honoring “Little Miss Muffit” and sitting there was a rouge-cheeked, lipsticked, 5-o’clock bearded young man with his bonnet and a pretty dress on, throwing out gum and laughing his butt off…you see, this was Sammy
    Miss you-God speed

  5. Ray Gezzi

    I am so sad!!! No more laughs with the Gentle Bear!! No more ” Mangia” with him!!! I’ll miss the ball breaking especially!!! Family please stay strong in this hard time!!! Soar with the Angels Sammy!! Gonna miss u Brother!!!

  6. Peggy Newton

    Dear Gina, Christina, Andrea, Gianna, Lucy and Johnny, Sammy Casella – a man I will always remember as possessing qualities of strength and gentleness, kindness and generosity, humor and intelligence, loyalty and integrity, a strong work ethic and efficiency to degrees that cannot be learned. May we all who are mourning this monumental loss remember that Death takes the body; God takes the soul; Our Mind holds the memories; Our heart keeps the love; And Our Faith lets us know we will meet again.

  7. Denise Perogine Borrelli

    Gina and family, I did not know Sammy well, but I always saw how happy you all were! I know he was your Rock. Gina, you birthday sister lost the love of her life in January. She remains strong. I do not know how she does it. She is having a celebration of life on April 26th. Our Lenny helped 2 people to see, and two people to pee…(as we joke) and his Liver saved a man’s life. Lean on the Lord! I know with your Catholic upbringing you will. God bless and be with you all!!!

  8. Lisa fones


  9. Sharon, Tony, Anthony Salvatore

    Gina, girls, and family,
    We were so sad to hear of Sam’s passing. Know you are in our prayers & our thoughts are with you. May it bring you comfort to know he is with the other angels that have went before him & will be forever watching over all of you.

  10. Sharon, Tony, Anthony Salvatore

    Gina, girls, and family,
    We were so sad to hear of Sam’s passing. Know you are in our prayers & our thoughts are with you. May it bring you comfort to know he is with the other angels that have went before him & will be forever watching over all of you.

    Sharon, Tony & Anthony Salvatore

  11. Sharon Salvatore

    Gina, girls, and family,
    We were so sad to hear of Sam’s passing. Know you are in our prayers & our thoughts are with you. May it bring you comfort to know he is with the other angels that have went before him & will be forever watching over all of you.

    Sharon, Tony & Anthony Salvatore

  12. Frank & Regina Minniti

    Dear Gina, Christina, Andrea, Lucy, Johnny and Family,

    To say that we are heartbroken in the loss of such a wonderful friend is an understatement. Sammy was bigger than life and you always felt better being around him. There are so many memories that we will forever keep in our hearts. The many New Year’s Eve’s at your house and laughing until we cried because he always had the best stories. He truly was the best friend anyone could ask for and we will miss him so much. I don’t know how we will navigate this world without him because he definitely made it a better place. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love to you all.

  13. Angie Salvatore

    Gina and Family,
    Our sincere condolences. May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get through the days ahead. Our hearts go out to you and your family. Dinner at Botto’s will not be the same without him. RIP Sammy.

    Angie, Joe and Frankie Salvatore (John Aversa’s niece)

  14. Adrienne Musumeci

    There is not enough room to mention all of the memories that I have with my cousin “Sammy”
    We lived at the farm in the summer months when we were little, getting into everything and anything outside that we could find. Yes, that’s correct, we were outside until dark looking for adventure.
    He was always looking for something to get into, bringing us with him, I was always worried that we were going to get into trouble, not him.
    The prank calls made from Grandmom Azzari’s phone on Railroad Avenue are memorable. Taxi service every morning to Kingsway from Angie, while he was in the front seat, me complaining he is always late, “you can take the bus if you don’t like it!!!” shut me up real fast.

    The fun at Rosie’s house in North Jersey will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, especially when Sammy wore Gina’s bathing suit looking like Chara diving into the pool, priceless. Fireworks every March and May on Center Square road, a house full of people non stop coming to taste his mom’s amazing cooking.

    He was there for the girls for everything, so proud that they did so great in school, he always said they took after their mom. Gina and Sammy were meant for each other, this was not supposed to happen so soon for someone who has so much life left in him to live.

    Sammy we will miss you forever, and will always have a smile on our face when we think of you.

    Love Adrienne

  15. Russell & Phyll Gargiulo

    Russ and I are so sad to hear of Sammy’s passing. I know heaven will take advantage of our kindhearted teddy bear. I don’t think I can remember ever seeing Sammy without a smile or without a helping hand to someone in need. He was a very special person. Russ has more memories than I do with Sammy as I was closer to Johnny’s age. (but still younger). Gina, Russ especially wanted your daughters to know they are in his heart and you are all in both of our prayers.

  16. Diann Monte Hrebin

    Gina and family,
    I am so so sorry for your loss of Sammy. I remember what a kind man he was and he is a cousin that will be missed. Please know that there are prayers being said to give you strenghth during this most difficult time. Hugs to all of you.

  17. Shane & Sue Mitchell

    Dear Gina and Family
    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Sam. He will be truly missed by many. He was a great man our condolences to you and your family our thoughts and prayers are with you God Bless

  18. Frank J Minniti

    Gina, Andrea, Christina, Johnny and Lucy:
    I wish there were where words I could say that could ease your pain and help you deal with this devastating loss. A devoted Son, Husband, Father ,Grandfather and Brother. He was strong, but gentle, generous to a fault, loyal, so full with the zeal for life and a trait that he lived by – integrity. Salvatore was a man’s man. When a person you love leaves the place you live in it is that much more a drab and empty place. The world will be allot less fun without him. I miss my friend. Salvatore love you long time. Don’t forget to it’s your turn to buy the cheese!

  19. Angel Lucas

    Gina, Andrea and Christina, Tonight’s viewing was a testament to a man well loved by many. I have never stood in such a long line for so many hours in the cold! While in line, it was so comforting to hear people behind us and in front of us sharing their memories of Sammy. John and I will never forget the cruise we took together with you, Sammy, Ronnie and Sue and the fun we had. My husband swears he’ll never open the bottle of crown royal that Sammy gave him. May you cherish all of your memories and find comfort in how much he was loved. This tragedy was such a reminder that life is indeed too short. Sammy left this world much too soon and he will be greatly missed. We are praying for all of you during the difficult days ahead. Much Love, Angel and John Lucas

  20. Diana Botto

    We will always love you, Sammy and will miss your beautiful heart and smile. Whenever I would see you my heart would light up. There was something about you that just drew everyone to you. Heaven is lucky to have gained such an amazing angel ❤️ Always in our hearts

  21. JoAnn Louis

    Gina, Andrea, Christina, I didn’t know Sam well like all your family and friends did, wow was he loved by everyone, just knowing how much everyone loved him and you, and your beautiful family, has to help with your grief and pain. My Heartfelt Sympathy goes out to each and everyone of you, keeping you in my prayers!!…xoxoxox…JoAnn & Bill Louis

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