The Eulogy for Sal Anastasi
Sal Anastasi was born in Manhattan, NY on February 19th, 1948 but spent the great majority of his life living in Parsippany, having moved here with his family – his mother and father and brother Richard – when Sal was 13.
Sal met Diane she was just 17 and he was 20 on a blind date set up by mutual friends. They were opposites in personality, but opposites attract and they got engaged two years after meeting, and married the year after that. Along the way Sal served in the Naval Reserves for a year and a half, receiving an early honorable discharge due to a back injury from a serious car accident. Sal would suffer from the after effects of that back injury for the rest of his life. Diane remembers watching the first man walk on the moon with Sal from his hospital room.
Sal literally charmed Diane with charms for a charm bracelet he gave her for every significant event in their life that she wears to this day.They bought a house together in Lake Parsippany in which they would live for the next 43 years of their lives. Together they raised their two beloved sons Keith and Michael, whom they adored.
When Sal was laid off from his job as a machinist, he worked two jobs to support his family. He took classes for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and passed the tests for licensing with flying colors. He got a job working in maintenance at St. Clare’s Hospital where he remained for 27 years, attaining the position of supervisor, becoming invaluable to the nuns, the nurses, the doctors, and all the rest of the staff and volunteers. Sal was a hard worker – often pushing through pain to do his job.
He could come across as gruff, but he had, in fact a very big heart, in which he held the many persons, as well as dogs and cats, that he loved.
Sal was the real deal – there was nothing phony about him — he never pretended to be something other than himself.
He cherished his wife Diane who he deeply adored, and by whom he was deeply loved in return. He loved doing wood working, cutting out snow men and crows which Diane in turn would paint, which they would give away as gifts to friends.
Sal was a devoted and very proud father who raised up two fine sons, and took great pleasure in their happiness, and delight in the beautiful grandchildren they brought into the world. He was a good friend, always willing to lend a hand. His laugh was unforgettable and contagious.
After his heart stint forced Sal to retire, he and Diane hatched plans with his long time friend Joe Amato and his wife Beverly for the four of them to retire together in the warmer climate of North Carolina, near the beauty of the ocean, not far from where Keith and his family lived.
Unfortunately Sal and Diane were only given two years there before this past November 9th Sal collapsed and the great ordeal that was the last seven weeks of his life began. Sal was a fighter, and he fought the good fight to try and get well, but as his family put it, God decided all Sal’s worrying over Diane and the kids should be finally lifted, calling him home on December 30th, 2016.