Today, we laid to rest a great man; Sam Centineo.
He and Mom-mom adopted me as a grandchild when I had the great luck of finding and marrying his granddaughter. Pop-pop reminded me of my grandfather. His stories, his love of gatherings, and his infectious manner were things that I will remember always.
He cherished three things; family, faith, and food.
His loss was a tremendous hit to the family, but as I’ve seen countless times before with this family, they all came together to support each other. Being at his services, I was reminded of the importance of family to everything he did. Thankfully, in the weeks leading up to this passing, all of his grandchildren (of which I count myself) were able to visit and spend time with him.
He was a man of faith; graduate of Mt. St. Joseph, raised three children in the church, and passed on the importance of faith to his grandchildren. He and Mom-mom were active in the church and loved by all. Father Eric and Father Tom knew him – not just as a parishioner, but knew Pop.
For years, I’ve heard stories of how he spent his time at Lexington Market in the stalls, selling wares. I heard about his children and grandchildren working with him in his catering company. I’m sad that I never got to see him in that light, but the spread that he and Mom-mom would put out for every holiday portrayed his love of food.
He and Mom-mom accepted me, warts and all, when I walked into their door. This acceptance was the same for everyone. Giving to everyone, feeding anyone who walked through the door, and living and walking with his faith everyday are a few things that I hope that I can show to others. If anything could commemorate his life, it would be for me to try and do the same in my life.
I leave this post hoping that I can be half the man that he was. I leave any readers with a picture and music from the man that I know and will remember.
You are loved and you will be missed.
Salvatore Thomas Centineo
August 26, 1936 – March 26, 2016