In memory of
Salvatore "Sam" Pronesti
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In memory of
Salvatore "Sam" Pronesti
Salvatore (Sam) Pronesti passed away in the early morning hours of Feb 14. He was 90 years old. He was predeceased by his parents, Francesco Pronesti and Romana (Bruni) Pronesti, and three brothers: Francis, Vincent, and Anthony. Born in Philadelphia, Sam spent most of his life in Morton, Pa. In his early years his family lived near the present site of the AMVETS building on Morton Ave where they owned a small grocery store. His family spoke Italian at home and young Sammy learned English in school. A lifelong member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, he served as an altar boy during his grade school years. He attended St. James High School in Chester for two years before transferring to St.Mary’s in Langhorne, Pa. Here he considered entering the priesthood, and this school was considered a first step in that process. However, when his older brother Frank was killed while on a training mission in the Army Air Corp in World War 2, Sam decided to enter the army after he graduated instead. He was on his way across the Pacific when word came of the Japanese surrender. He served as an MP in Japan until he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946. Once out of the Army Sam enrolled in Temple University, taking classes in Building and Architectural Design under the G.I. Bill, then went to work as an apprentice stone mason where he found his life’s work. In the early 1950’s he, his father, and his uncle built a modest but beautiful stone house and garage on Kedron Ave. in Morton. He married his wife Elizabeth (known as Lee to everyone) in 1960 and together they raised 3 children, Frank (wife Fran), Lisa (husband George) and Gregory (wife Denise). Eventually he welcomed 8 grandchildren who looked up to him and brought him much joy. Sam and Lee enjoyed art, theater, and travelling, especially to Italy, where they still have family. Sam’s fluency in Italian made their travels there even more enjoyable. As he gradually retired from his work as a full time stone mason, Sam turned his attention to projects around his and his children’s’ homes. His stone work strengthens and beautifies his son and daughter’s homes, and several projects were completed at his and Lee’s home as well. Perhaps the most visible was the statue of St. Francis of Assisi that graced their front yard for many years. This statue, which he had carved out of an old oak tree, became a local landmark even as it was being created and the attention it drew was a source of great joy for Sam. Over the years, the statue’s condition deteriorated, and Sam’s last stone project was to build a base on which to mount his prized likeness of St. Francis. However, even that could not prevent the inevitable, and it was with sadness that the statue had to be taken down for the last time. Sam was a builder. He worked on many beautiful buildings including the Bell Tower at Valley Forge Park, the Chanticleer mansion, St. Andrews School in Delaware, the Chapel at St. Joseph’s University (which is where he recently attended his grand daughter’s wedding) and countless other buildings in the Delaware Valley. But his most important work, his strongest foundation, was reserved for his family. They continued to be the focus of his life, and to see them succeed was what brought him the most happiness. He was completely devoted to his wife Lee and she in turn spoiled him to the utmost of her ability! It can be said that he was the stone and she the mortar that formed the foundation of a truly loving family. Relatives and friends are invited to Sam’s viewing Saturday, February 18, 2017 , from 9:30-10:50 AM Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 2130 Franklin Avenue, Morton, PA and to his Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Sam’s memory to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 5300 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143 would be appreciated. Arrangements by Knoetgen/Donohue Funeral Home, Morton, PA 19070. 610-544-0600. Online condolences
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