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Salvatore "Sam" Joseph Petitto

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“Mary, Jeannie and family......sending prayers of comfort to you during this time of sadness. One of the lovliest obits I have ever seen; quite a...Read More »
1 of 9 | Posted by: Susan Murray - Loudon, TN

“We are remembering your Dad and thinking of you. He was very involved in his community. We remember his work especially at Parkwood Elementary. ”
2 of 9 | Posted by: George & Lee Stepanovic - Warren, MI

“We are remembering your Dad and thinking of you. He was very involved in his community. We remember his work especially at Parkwood Elementary. ”
3 of 9 | Posted by: George & Lee Stepanovic - Warren, MI

“Dearest John, Pat, Sandy, Paul, Tyler, Matthew and Family, We are all so very sorry for dear Sam's passing on Sunday. Sam will always be remembered...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Chris Wilson - Family Friend

“My condolences to Sam's family. My heartfelt appreciation for Sam's many contributions to his nation, state and local community. His activism in the...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Steve Bieda - Warren, MI - Friend

“Sam was a true American patriot and one of the heroes who saved our world during WWII. My husband and I had the pleasure of sharing dinner with Sam...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Joann Beste - Warren, MI - Friend

“I always enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm that your dad brought to Mom's and Dad's Club at OLSM and the school overall. He raised a wonderful family. ”
7 of 9 | Posted by: John Hejka - Charlotte, NC

“John and Family, so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed hearing about your Dad. Prayers for your Dad and your family. ”
8 of 9 | Posted by: Bridget Denihan - Friend

“Mary and Family,I am so sorry for your loss. May your father rest in peace. ”
9 of 9 | Posted by: Lori Hickey - Warren, MI - Friend

Navy Emblem

Salvatore Joseph Petitto, "Sam," age 96 of Warren, died Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township, Michigan. He was born September 24, 1922 in Detroit, son of the late Giovanni and the late Raffaela (nee: Perri) Petitto, but was ultimately raised by his stepmother, Rose Petitto.

With thanks and praise from a grateful nation, we pay homage to Mr. Petitto for his service to our country during World War II as a sailor in the U.S. Navy, serving aboard a Sub-Chaser from 1943 to 1946. During the war, he was stationed in the Pacific Theater of Operations and was an integral part of the invasions at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. As a member of our "Greatest Generation," we honor Mr. Petitto for the sacrifices made and his willingness to stand in harm's way for freedom's sake.

Following his military commitment, Sam's skill sets would ultimately land him a position with the automotive giant, the Chrysler Corporation. With his career beginning in 1949, Sam rose through the ranks to become one of the company's financial planning and computer technicians, the job he held upon accepting his well deserved retirement in 1979 following 30 years of loyal and dedicated employment.

Right about mid-career, it was in 1962 that Sam made the decision to relocate and chose the burgeoning bedroom community of Warren to call his new home. It wasn't long after moving in that the call to serve his community presented itself, and soon afterwards Sam found himself on the Warren Zoning Board of Appeals. When his son John was attending Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Sam was an active member of the St. Mary's Mom & Dad's Club where he was inducted as an Honorary Alumni in 1972. Also notable was the founding membership that he and wife, Thelma shared in the forming of St. Sylvester Catholic Church in Warren. And not merely a member of the church, Sam was one of the warm & smiling faces that ushered you to your seat upon arrival to church as well. His was always a welcomed and comforting reception.

In 1976, Sam's community involvement took on even more exciting challenges when he was elected to the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, District #5,…a position he held until his retirement from the commission in 1996. Sam was honored to also serve on a number of other committees, to include; the Michigan Association of Counties, where he served as President,…and the National Association of Counties, where he rose to the level of Chairman. Through much hard work, exemplary leadership, and devotion to the cause, it was also in 1976 that Sam was recognized with the Award of Excellence for his service to local government. From 1978 thru 1979, Sam charitable heart led him to become a member of the Children's Leukemia Foundation, where he ultimately sat on the board and served as President.

Being quite proud of his Italian heritage, Sam co-founded the Americans of Italian Origins Society (AIO), and was the esteemed President of the Italian Cultural Society from 1983 to 1986. And if all of these unselfish and philanthropic efforts weren't enough,…he and his wife, Thelma were just a couple of the happy road warriors who volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels to a host of people in need. The old adage states; "when you're eating you're happy,"…so the Petitto's managed to bring "happiness" to a countless number of home's and lives.

Following Thelma's passing, Sam spent nearly a decade of winters in Sun City Center, Florida area enjoying his life as a Snowbird. Nestled in the Tampa Bay area of the Sunshine State, Sam reveled in the warmth and comfort of the south as he gladly left behind the wintry mix of the Mitten State. While joining many other of his snowbird kin, he also took advantage of the sun by joining many different clubs as well. He loved staying active, both physically and socially, as evidenced by the many dear friends from Canada to Tennessee that he had met who truly brightened his life. And it was with many of these friends that Sam got to enjoy one of his favorite pastimes, playing poker! Truth-be-told, he just plain liked playing card games, but with poker being his passion.

But when it came to his life being brightened, little could match the love and blessings he knew through "family." Sam was truly a devoted father, and an adoring grandfather, whose love sparked each of their hearts in a unique and genuine way and leaves behind a plethora of warm & wonderful memories to be embraced with each reflection shared. Sam touched a multitude of hearts and souls in his journey this side of Heaven, may he now know the joys on the other side as he's touched by the Master. He will be missed immensely and loved eternally.

Sam was the beloved husband of the late Thelma with whom he shared 60 wonderful years of marriage. Dear father of John (Pat) Petitto, Mary (Bill) Hopkins, and Jeannie (Rick) Hauser. Loving grandfather of Sandy (Paul) Szczechura, Matt, Hadley, Erik, Julia, Owen, Ruby, June, and great-grandfather of Tyler. Cherished brother of John (Cheryl) Petitto and Rosemary (Tom) Hopp.

Memorial donations are welcomed to the American Lung Association, 1475 E. 12 Mile Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071 (,...or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 (

Arrangements have been entrusted to the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home in Warren, Michigan.

Please share memories of Sam at his memory book above.