Ashel "Sam" Sabattini
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Ashel "Sam" Sabattini, 94, passed away peacefully at St. Joseph's Home on Feb. 1, 2014. Sam was born in Bologna, Italy, on Dec. 16, 1919. As an immigrant, he faced many hardships upon his arrival but pursued the American dream with a fiery zeal. He enjoyed a rewarding career in Civil Service for the Federal Government before retiring at 61 to pursue his true passion: gardening.
Sam ran Sabattini's Garden Center almost singlehandedly for over 30 years thanks to his unwavering work ethic. Even in his golden years, Sam could pick more green beans than the teenagers he hired all while instilling in them insightful wisdom. Those words of wisdom were often referred to as "Samisms" and Sam had one for every situation. They'd make you think, make you laugh, but most of all leave you well entertained. Shopping at Sabattini's Garden Center meant you were always treated to fresh vegetables and impromptu conversations with Sam. In addition to selling at his garden center and delivering produce to numerous local businesses, Sam was also one of the first members of the Downtown Farmer's Market.
Everyone enjoyed being friends with Sam including man's best friend. Not once, but twice a neighbor's canine left their home in favor of living with Sam. His scenic homestead was doggy-paradise for "Geronimo" the three-legged lab and "Guido" the poodle.
Sam is survived by his children, Cynthia McAlpine and Victor Sabattini, grandchildren, Graham LaMontagne (wife, Kristin), Hillary LaMontagne, Victor Sabattini, Jr., and Vincent Sabattini, great- grandchild, Reid Brady, and several nieces and nephews.
A private family service was held in Sam's honor at Oak Ridge Cemetery followed by a celebration of life dinner at Bella Milano to represent his proud Italian heritage.
One last toast of his favorite motto, "Every day's a Holiday," was raised in Sam's honor.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph's Home or the Animal Protective League.
Vancil-Murphy Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.