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Salvatore E. Cherenzia, III

December 7, 1949 ~ July 1, 2017 (age 67)

North Stonington – Salvatore E. (“Sam”) Cherenzia, III, 67 passed away suddenly at home on Saturday, July 1, 2017. He was the beloved husband for 42 years of Cathy (Tattersall) Cherenzia.

Born in Westerly on December 7, 1949, Sam was the son of the late Salvatore E. Cherenzia, Jr. and Frances (Gaccione) Cherenzia. He was a graduate of LaSalle Academy, to which he commuted daily by train. At LaSalle he was a member of the concert band. In 1971 he earned his bachelor degree in Business Administration from Quinnipiac University.

As a young man he was active in the Westerly-Pawcatuck YMCA Leaders Club; he maintained his membership and association throughout his life, serving as a member of its Camps Committee and Camp Improvements Committee.

While in school, he worked in various family businesses—Atlantic Lumber, Blue Sands, and Cherenzia & Nigrelli, Inc.

Following graduation, Sam embarked upon a successful business career forming multiple entities under the umbrella of Cherenzia Companies, with his late brother Raymond F. Cherenzia, P.E., RLS.

Together, the brothers built Cherenzia Excavation, Inc. to a preeminent regional site and building contractor, including work at and for Pfizer, UConn-Avery Point, Electric Boat, Ocean House, Weekapaug Inn, Mystic Aquarium, Westerly Hospital, Lisbon Landing, River Ridge, Elmridge and Misquamicut golf courses, Crystal Mall, Ocean Community YMCA and its Watchaug and Wahelo camps, Waters Edge Resorts, Masonicare, Westerly Education Center, and numerous public building and infrastructure projects for local and state governments in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

In 1989, they expanded Cherenzia Excavation into granite quarrying and processing, operating facilities at Old Hopkinton Road and White Rock in Westerly. The quality of the granite stone in these quarries make its aggregate product highly desirable for concrete, asphalt, septic systems and concrete products. In recent years, Cherenzia granite has been used in numerous breakwater, revetment and jetty projects from Hampton Beach, NH to Manhattan, NY. Sam supervised mining of monument grade granite for the burial stone of Ambassador Pamela Harriman to “match” that of her husband, diplomat and New York Governor W. Averell Harriman at the personal request of former Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles.

Throughout Sam’s business career, the Cherenzia Companies, engaged in many real estate development projects throughout the region, including hundreds of residential buildings lots from Groton, CT to Narragansett, RI. They also developed nearly 300 residential condominiums, including Village at Briar Hill, Norwich, CT and Fountain Crest Preserve and Settler’s Landing in Westerly. Because of Sam’s appreciation for landscape, a passion nurtured by his mother, these communities are heavily accented by their landscape and water features.

The Cherenzia Companies have been a generous contributor to the local community, sponsoring multiple youth sports teams in multiple seasons year after year, other charities and events and in-kind contributions of work and product, including the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and the Boy Scouts.

Sam was particularly proud of personally directing his company’s performance of the cleanup and restoration of Misquamicut Beach after Superstorm Sandy under contracts with the Town of Westerly and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management with oversight by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Based upon his Misquamicut business experience, he knew the restoration needed to be substantially complete by the following February to provide reassurance to those planning and reserving rooms and cottages that Misquamicut would be ready for their arrival in summer. He accomplished his schedule which was far more aggressive than that provided by contract.

Sam prided himself on keeping his word. When his company took over a defaulted sewer project on Chickadee and Lovat Lanes for the Town of Westerly, he learned that the residents had been mired in streets alternately dusty and muddy for many months. He promised them a finished project and newly paved roads by Christmas. Working with his friend and associate, Paul Lynch of Wescon Corp., they finished paving on December 23 to neighborhood applause.

In addition to his wife, Sam is survived by his sons Joseph (Becky) Cherenzia and Salvatore E. (Colleen) Cherenzia, IV and seven grandchildren, Nicole, Joseph Jr., Nathan, Adele, Leila, Vivvienne, Vera Cherenzia. He is also survived by his two sisters Joan (Edward) Esneault and Alice (Michael) McNamara, and two uncles Leo (Helen) Cherenza and E. L. (Hummie) Murano.

Despite his business acumen and pursuits, nothing mattered more to Sam than family. He took personal responsibility for attending to his brother Ray’s needs during the extended illness that claimed his life in 2010. Few other meetings or events were allowed to interfere with Wednesday “kids’ night” at his home with his children and grandchildren. While generously assisting his extended family, since Ray’s death, Sam was committed to mentoring and assisting his nephew Sergio Cherenzia, P.E. in the operation of Cherenzia & Associates, Ltd., a local civil engineering and surveying company.

He was a faithful communicant of St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church.

Visiting hours will be held at Rushlow-Iacoi Funeral Home & Crematory, 64 Friendship Street, Westerly on Thursday, July 6, from 3:00 pm  to 7:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 7, at 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Church, 95 Main Street, Stonington. There is no procession from the funeral home. Burial will immediately follow at St. Sebastian Cemetery, Cobblestone Lane, Westerly.

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 Service Information

July 6, 2017

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Rushlow Iacoi Funeral Home and Crematory
64 Friendship Street
Westerly, RI 02891

Mass of Christian Burial
July 7, 2017

10:00 AM
St. Mary’s Church
95 Main Street
Stonington, CT 06378

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