March 5 2018

Obituary: Beloved Family Man and Founder of Sammy's Deli, Samuel "Sammy" Restivo, 93

By: BNEWS

A longtime Burlington resident and owner of a popular deli has passed away.

Samuel Joseph “Sammy” Restivo, founder and former owner of Sammy’s Deli and Catering, passed away after a lengthy illness on March 4 at the age of 93.

Sam grew up in Woburn where he went to school. At an early age he showed a talent for music. He studied the accordion and later would take weekly train trips to Boston to study at the Boston Conservatory of Music. He played at high school assemblies every Friday, entertained the troops during World War II, and played professionally at many weddings and social events.

Sam met his future bride, Annie, as a child, as her family lived right across the street from his family. They married in 1946 and raised two sons, Carl and Danny.

The family moved to Burlington in 1976 where they already had a family business.  

Sam owned grocery market and beer and wine store in Newton for 20 years and in 1966, he opened Sammy’s Deli in Burlington. The business required long hours and a lot of hard work but he was proud that the deli was the oldest family-run food establishment in town.

Sam will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. Even after he retired from the deli he could be found most morning spending time there and sharing coffee and conversations with friends.

On Monday the Facebook page for Sammy’s Deli had a message in his honor.

Rest in peace Sammy,” it read. “The sweetest man in the world, you will be missed by many.”

Read his full obituary from Sullivan Funeral Home below:

Samuel Joseph “Sammy” Restivo, longtime owner of Sammy’s Deli and Catering passed away after a lengthy illness on Sunday morning, March 4, 2018. He was 93 years old.  Sam grew up in Woburn, where he went to school, met his wife, Annie, and raised two sons, Carl and Danny. The family moved to Burlington in 1976, where many great years were spent with his six grandchildren (Jared, Jesse. Lucas, Billy, Ali and Ava), nieces, nephews, and friends.

Sam’s life was filled with many great experiences and accomplishments. As a child, he demonstrated amazing talents as a musician, studying the accordion locally, and later, taking the train into Boston each week to continue his study at the Boston Conservatory of Music. He proudly played at high school assemblies every Friday, entertained the troops during World War II, and played professionally at many weddings and social events. But his best concerts were at the many Italian family parties where he would get everyone singing and dancing to his music. Sam even recorded a CD of his greatest hits a few years back at a recording studio, where his nervousness made it difficult for him to play….but a little wine fixed the problem. He always played the best with a little wine. Right up until recently, Sam played for the patients and staff at the Bedford VA, where he touched their hearts with his music and kindness.

Sam met his bride-to-be when he was just a kid. Annie Buonanno lived right across the street from Sam; they married in 1946. Sammy and Annie had been married for 72 years. He often said it wasn’t easy being married so long but admitted it was the greatest thing he ever did.

Sam was also an entrepreneur, owning a grocery market and beer and wine store in Newton for 20 years. In 1966, he opened Sammy’s Deli in Burlington. He was proud that Sammy’s was still family run and the oldest food establishment in town. He worked hard, putting in long hours and always sacrificing for his family. He made many, many friends at Sammy’s and, even after he retired, you would find him spending early mornings sharing coffee and conversation with his friends.

It is pretty safe to say that Sam was loved by everyone who knew him; he had a kindness about him that you could feel. He was a humble man and never talked much about himself; he was happiest when others were happy. He only had good things to say about everyone. Sam will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. We will miss him, but we are grateful for the memories we shared with him and the music of his life.

Sam was the beloved husband of 72 years of Ann M. (Buonanno). He was the proud father of Carl and his wife June of Burlington and Daniel and his wife Amanda of Burlington. Grandfather of Jared, Jesse, Lucas, Billy, Ali, and Ava. Brother of the late Rose Lemone, Ann Ladelfe, Frances Chiumiento, Veronica Restivo, and Severio Restivo. He is also survived by his in-laws: Loretta & Ralph Lentz, Rosemary Restivo, Mary Pepe, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Friday, March 9 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Winchester. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Sam’s name may be made to the E.N. Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Patients' Activities Fund, care of Decedent Affairs, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, MA 01730.


 

 
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