Salvatore Guadagna had a laugh that could light up a...

Salvatore Guadagna had a laugh that could light up a room, his son said. Credit: Andrea Kenedy

For Salvatore Joseph Guadagna, there was nothing more important than family.

"Since all the grandchildren lived near, they grew up coming to his house almost daily," said his son, Anthony Guadagna of East Northport. "He would take them to parks, go fishing and crabbing, to the movies, to get ice cream. His famous ice cream sundaes were a Friday treat."

Salvatore Guadagna, who lived in Northport, died on April 28 due to complications from COVID-19. He was 90.

A native of Brooklyn, Guadagna was born on Nov. 12, 1929, in Flatbush, where he grew up with his five siblings. He was always surrounded by his large Italian extended family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

"Dad was proud of his Italian heritage. He would always say, ‘If it’s Italian, it has to be good,’" said his son, Anthony Guadagna of East Northport.

As a young man, Guadagna was an accomplished athlete. He played football for Erasmus Hall and enjoyed running and tennis.

He graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in business and embarked on a career in the printing business in Manhattan. In his later years, he was a financial business consultant, and he worked until he suffered a stroke in 2008.

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He found the love of his life in Dolores, whom he met while working at New York Life Insurance Co. They were married for 51 years until her death in 2006. Guadagna and his wife had five children and raised their family in East Northport. He later relocated to Northport, where he lived until his death.

"What made my dad so special was his absolute love of his family," said his daughter, Andrea Kennedy of Northport. "He was so proud of his children and grandchildren and showed that with anyone he met."

According to his family, Guadagna had a larger-than-life personality — and was the life of the party.

"His distinct laugh was catching," said his son. "Dad lit up a room with that laugh and loved to have a good time with good food."

Salvatore Guadagna was grateful for his many blessings, including his faith, his family said. He was active in the church and attended traditional Latin Mass at various houses of worship across Long Island, the most recent being St. Pius V in Oyster Bay. Guadagna instilled those beliefs in his children and grandchildren as well, his family said.

"Dad’s strong Catholic faith and his wisdom was above and beyond. And until the end of his life, we still came to him for advice, and his comforting words made you feel better," Kennedy said. "He constantly prayed for his family, and we all knew we could rely on those prayers."

The last 12 years of Guadagna’s life were spent in a wheelchair due to the stroke.

"He never once said, ‘Why me?’" He just accepted his disability," Kennedy said.

Daughter Gina Weber of Northport echoed her siblings’ sentiments about Guadagna’s faith.

"He always said, ‘Trust in God’ and he truly lived his faith every day," Weber said. "Our family was gifted with that faith and we are forever grateful. Material things come and go in life, but faith takes you through it."

In addition to Andrea, Anthony and Gina, Guadagna is survived by a daughter, Elise Quinn; a son, Robert Guadagna; a sister, Carrie Guadagna; 15 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. A private burial was held at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale with a memorial mass celebrating his life at St. Pius V, Oyster Bay.

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