Theresa & Salvatore "Sam" Costanzo

Obituary of Theresa & Salvatore "Sam" Costanzo

Together Forever. Theresa Antionette Costanzo, age 95, passed away peacefully on February 12, 2021 and Salvatore “Sam” Victor Costanzo, 96, passed away on December 15, 2021. Theresa and Sam were married for 74 years. They renewed their wedding vows after 60 years of marriage in a private family ceremony in September 2006 at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church, Rosa Road, where they were long-term parishioners.

Theresa lived her life as a proud and traditional, independent-minded woman. Her strong Roman Catholic faith and her family were always in the forefront of her life.

Theresa worked as a secretarial employee at General Electric until she was to become a mother. No proposed increase in her wages changed her mind to stay at GE. She was determined to focus on health and motherhood, and she was successful in doing so.

Theresa participated in church and school events. She was civic minded and a good neighbor throughout her community. Theresa loved feeding everyone who stopped by the house, expectantly or unexpectantly, and there was always a fresh cup of coffee served with her deliciously prepared lunches and desserts. She loved spending time with her family. When she was a senior, she took on the responsibility of providing daycare for 2 of her grandchildren. She had a unique and positive experience caretaking at an older age. She still remembered some of the Italian lap rhymes she used with her own children, and later in life she was able to share them with her grandchildren. She cherished children. Many of her children’s friends had an appreciation for Theresa and liked being in her company. They found her to be hospitable, down to earth and sincere. They brought out some of the best of her good humor. Some continued to correspond with Theresa on their own. She was a maternal friend. Theresa loved playing table games and putting together difficult puzzles with so many different people throughout the years.

Some of Theresa's talented and creative outlets throughout her life have been in cooking and baking, flower and plant gardening, ceramics, knitting, embroidery and crocheting. She was a perfectionist who created beautiful clothing, home accessories and gourmet Italian foods. She also enjoyed being in a bowling league during her earlier years.

In 1955, Sam completed building his family’s home in Schenectady. He designed the house, so there was a sufficient amount of picture window space in each of the rooms. The landscaping of the yard included planting several spruce trees and shrubs outside the windows. They helped to form a small bird/wildlife sanctuary whereby Theresa was able to enjoy seeing a variety of birds and small animals throughout her day. She especially enjoyed watching the hummingbirds outside of the kitchen and living room windows. Throughout the years Sam was successful in attracting more birds to Theresa’s windows by placing larger bird baths and enhancing the bird feeders on the property. If, while in flight, any birds hit a window, Theresa would show compassion. She tried to take care of them and she hand placed stain glass objects on the windows to help protect other birds.

Theresa energetically and competitively played canasta weekly for over 6 decades with her sisters, sister-in-law, cousin, niece and friends. The core group was with Nettie, Anna, Jennie, Theresa, Jan and Theresa herself. The world seemed to stop when the canasta ladies began to play. It goes without saying that coffee and gourmet desserts were always served before the game commenced. They even organized to play canasta in a rehabilitation hospital when Theresa had her hip replaced. The canasta ladies were dynamic and skilled at playing the game that they loved so much. What a special group of women.

 Sam was a remarkable man and he had a remarkable life. He served his country during WWII. He was a Gunner's Mate in the U.S. Navy. Sam served aboard the US Navy ship LST-693. In 2020 he received a letter of recognition and appreciation from Representative Paul Tonko, 20th Congressional district of NY, for the carrying out of his Military and civilian roles and responsibilities.

Sam had a successful career in building customized homes for people in Albany, Schenectady, Colonie, Niskayuna, Lake George and other neighboring areas. He also selectively built commercial properties. His professional business was Costanzo Construction, and he was in high demand. The phone never stopped ringing. Theresa was always there to handle the abundance of phone calls. Sam had an exceptional mastery of his carpentry and building craft. He was also his own contractor and he was very selective about the employees he brought on board. Sam was a member of the Builders Association and received numerous trophies from the Association. He retired from his company, Costanzo Construction, at the age of 65. He continued to have significant and creative carpentry projects for himself, family, and those friends who called upon him. His many works continue to remain prominent. Sam cultivated and maintained a substantial vegetable/herbal garden. He was generous in sharing his organic harvest with family, friends and neighbors.

Sam had love and admiration from his family and friends. His accomplishments were countless. He was an active and an easy-going person and he set purposeful life goals. He courageously lived through challenging experiences. Sam honorably maintained his duties and responsibilities and placed others’ needs before his own. Sam had a zest for life and such love for his family. He was a true and dependable friend to so many people who crossed his path in life. Sam and Theresa enjoyed sharing time with their family and close friends, whether they were on a vacation, a recreational outing or just sitting down quietly having a cup of fresh coffee and enjoying Theresa’s homemade food or Sam’s Sunday breakfast eggs. While they entertained, there was always much laughter. They reminisced about the past and talked about the present. They knew how to enjoy life.

Sam and Theresa were always planning and thinking about the safety and well-being of their children and other children in the neighborhood. Sam used his innovative skills to build a skating rink in their yard because he and Theresa did not want their children or neighborhood friends, to skate on the pond down the hill, as they did not think it was safe enough. Sam and Theresa problem solved together for the love of family and their neighborhood friends.

 Sam and Theresa’s siblings and their families were always an important and endearing part of their lives and their children’s lives.

When Sam and Theresa became grandparents, they discovered a newly found love. They adored all of their grandchildren. They received so much joy from them. They were especially happy they had 3 local grandchildren, as they were frequently able to see them. They each became an active and most pleasurable part of their lives.

Sam was a friend and a mentor for young people. For decades he participated in weekly bowling and golfing leagues in Schenectady, where he received many team and individual trophies. He also enjoyed swimming, fishing, horseshoes, bocce ball, and ballroom dance at celebrated events. Sam attended a fitness center/gym 5 days a week until he was 90 years of age. He immersed himself in watching professional and amateur sports on TV. (He loved his Boston Red Sox.) When Sam sat into his chaise lounge to watch sports, he quietly entered into another world despite all of the distractions in the home.

During Sam and Theresa’s later years, large family reunions became a regular event. Sam was always so good natured and productive while helping to plan and set up these large family gatherings, even at such an advanced age in life. He had a special and significant presence. He always made things in life look easy.

Theresa was an earnest woman who had faith and a unique devotion to families. Sam was a humble man with a courageous spirit.

Left to honor Theresa and Sam are their children Anthony Costanzo (Julia), Carol Costanzo (Rudolph Adams) and Richard Costanzo (Patricia). Their grandchildren Alex Costanzo (Samantha), Jennifer Mills (Fred), Michelle Costanzo, Chelsea Costanzo and Jason Costanzo (Caitlin). Great grandchildren Annabelle Costanzo, Quinn Costanzo, Tristan Mills, Lillian Mills and Vincent Jason Costanzo. The couple was predeceased by their beloved grandson S. “Sam” Charles Barrett Costanzo. Also surviving is Theresa’s sister Nettie Brunetti (the late Mac) and sister Carrie O’Rourke (the late Charles), Sam’s sister Jennie Zampella( the late Edward Zampella Jr.) brother-in-law Andrew Gerardi (the late Angie) along with many nieces, nephews and extended family members.

In addition to their parents, Salvatore and Stefanie (Gianella) Marotta and Gaetano and Rose (Licata) Costanzo and their grandson, they were predeceased by Theresa’s siblings, Lucy Zampella , Andrew “Red” Marotta (Virginia), Philomena “Phil” DiBartolomeo (William “Willie”), and Anna Lawrence (William). Sam’s siblings Angie Gerardi , Josephine Keith (James) and James Costanzo (Carmella). Several nieces and nephews also predeceased them.

Theresa was laid to rest on February 17, 2021 at Evergreen Memorial Park Mausoleum. Fr. Bob Longobucco from St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church officiated the service. Sam was laid to rest on December 30, 2021. The immediate family held a small and intimate funeral service, with Military Honors from the United States Navy at The Evergreen Memorial Park Mausoleum. Rev. Dr. John A. Califano from St. Luke’s Church officiated the service and blessed the caskets of Theresa and Sam Costanzo.

Please join our family in celebrating Theresa and Sam's successful lives and their legacies. They are together forever in time. 

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Theresa & Salvatore "Sam"