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Sally Cassarino

1945 ~ 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Sally Cassarino Obituary

Sally Cassarino grew up in Hartford, CT with her parents Dorothy and Samuel, and her younger brother Roger. They lived in a little red brick Cape Cod style house, with her room on the top floor. The home had a spacious backyard and a big garden. Since her dad came from a family of farmers, he grew vegetables, and had kitties (she continued to have kitties for the rest of her life). Her family had a beach cottage in Old Lyme, CT on Long Island Sound. In summertime Sally spent a lot of time at the cottage with family and friends. She enjoyed meals with ocean breezes in the open dining room, kayaking, swimming, and listening to the calming sound of the waves. There were multiple instances when she ended up falling asleep on the front porch glider because it was relaxing to her. Sally also enjoyed summertime visits with family in New Hampshire. She and her children looked forward to visiting the dairy cows in the evenings, when the cows would come back from the fields to the barn, for milking time. They were a Christian family, and she kept her faith for the rest of her life. Sadly, beloved Sally passed in February, 2024. She is survived by her spouse, her two children, her three grandchildren, three nieces, three nephews, numerous cousins and family in CT, NH, ME, CA and Italy.


Sally attended Bucknell High School where she met Sebastian. They married in 1966. Before the marriage, she earned her nursing degree as a RN and later became a supervisor. Sally worked at a nursing home called Lord Chamberlain in Stratford, CT for most of her career. Her husband worked as an engineer. In 1968 she had her first child, her daughter Annaliese. In 1972 she had her son, David. David would say that he hoped she would be the parent to find him in trouble, since she was patient and calm. She was always there, loving and supportive, for her children. She made every birthday and holiday special by making homemade food, setting up decorations, and having cards and gifts. She would also get the family together for special events and visits (with her children’s cousins, Lori and Matthew, their aunt Kathy and uncle Roger, and their grandma and grandpa). Daily, she would make sure the family ate meals together. On Sundays, they would go to church, then out to Sunday dinner, then to a museum, park, zoo, or other family outing. She went above and beyond to ensure that she was a great mom.

As soon as Sally first visited her daughter in California, she saw the sparkling water, the beaches, the sunshine, and flowers blooming year-round. She told us how she said "This is where I want to live!" and she would passionately continue the story, "Sebby said 'What?!' and I would say 'THIS is where I want to LIVE!!!' " Around 2005, they moved to California. Sally worked as a nurse in CA also, with night shifts in elder care. Even after she retired, she took great care of the house. She continued her father's love for gardening, with beautiful roses and different assortments of flowers growing in their yard.

Sally was a proud grandma of three, whom she called by the nicknames Carmie, Azie and Markie. She was there for all of them when they were little children and continuing as they grew up. She started the habit of calling them every Sunday just to check up on everyone, ending every call or outing with, “I love love love you!” For every birthday, she would pick out a thoughtful birthday card and gift.

People close to Sally have agreed that she had many great qualities, including compassion, care, intelligence, positivity, strength, and love. “Sally was never afraid to show her feelings. When she disliked something, it was out of the question. When she loved something, she loved deeply.” A favorite memory that a friend shared about her, was Sally helping with the planning of her wedding, and keeping her and her mother calm. Another family memory is when a dear relative started getting a rash from the sun, she asked Sally about it, as she had noticed Sally didn’t go out in the sun until after 3pm. Sally responded that she liked to call it the “Hersey Curse,” and asked why else would she only swim in the afternoon?


At one point Sally created the following:


February 2, 2006


I know I am in San Diego County, California in the WINTER if:

1) The sun is shining into my kitchen by 9 a.m. daily
2) The roses are still blooming in November
3) I can paddle my kayak in sunshine on our lake in January wearing a
4) The roses are still blooming in December
5) Our mailman wears shorts all winter
6) I have the car windows open to cool it off
7) The roses are still blooming in January
8) My inpatients need watering every other day
9) My big orchid plant I won at the Church Fair has 84 blossoms on it
10) The roses were cut back late January for “winter dormancy”
11) The azaleas, camellias, and magnolias start to blossom
12) Sebby is playing tennis outdoors 3 or more times a week
13) The sun is shining through the glass doors unto my kitchen table at
lunch time
14) The weather man calls it “chilly” if it is in the 60’s
15) My purple pansies are blooming beautifully
16) I have 10 vases of fresh cut flowers on my kitchen window sill
17) The only snow and ice I see is on TV
18) Our grass is green all winter long; it gets cut weekly by our gardeners
19) Our orange trees are covered with delicious seedless oranges all year

Sally had favorite stories she would express so animatedly, and had humorous little phrases (e.g. snow being a four-letter bad word, as she had to clean it from her 8-window station wagon). She always stuck to her morals: being loving and strong. When diagnosed with MS she made the active choice to focus on the positive, and she did. She never complained. She focused on the things that made her happy, such as seeing the color purple, music, California, cats, and mushrooms. She was always happy to see her family, and to see her cats, Abby and Midnight. Even with MS, Sally made a lot of progress, such as going from not being able to lift up her arms at all, to being able to lift them all the way behind her neck and up into the air. Sally never stopped smiling or having the will to fight for her life; she was a genuinely happy person.

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