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.