Alphonse Nicholas Sabetta, age 89, of Shelton entered into rest on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at Bishop Wicke with his loving family by his side.
He was the devoted husband of 66 years to Eleanor (Margiano) Sabetta. Al was born in Derby on September 15, 1931, son of the late Nicholas F. and Angeline (Sylvester) Sabetta and was a Shelton resident for most of his life.
Al worked at Viking Tool Company for many years. In 1976, he began his employment for the Shelton Board of Education in the Building and Grounds Department at Shelton High School where he continued working for 22 years until his retirement. He was one of the original parishioners of St. Margaret Mary Church and was very active in the church serving as a Lead Usher for many years. Al was recognized throughout Connecticut high school sports communities as a football official in the Western Connecticut Football Officials Association, the Interscholastic Athletic Association Basketball Officials, New Haven Umpires Association and the New Haven Board #10 Basketball Officials. He also umpired girls’ high school softball. Al was a former coach and Director of Biddy Basketball and served as the first Director of the Bob Cousy Basketball League as well as a Little League Coach.
Al Sabetta served in the U.S. Army as a Staff Sergeant in the 984th Engineer Field Maintenance Company in the Korean War. Al was awarded two Bronze Battle Stars, several medals and presidential citations while serving in this war. For more than 38 years Al served in a number of leadership positions including Post Commander at the Sutter-Terlizzi American Legion Post 16 and the State Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a member of the Korean War Veterans Association and former Veteran’s Advocate Committee member for the 5th District.
Al made numerous contributions to the Shelton community through his American Legion service. He worked for decades promoting the Boys State program, sponsoring young men from Shelton High School to attend the annual conference at the Connecticut capitol where students learned about local, state, and national government. Al enthusiastically served as a judge for the American Legion-sponsored Oratorical Competition, open to all Shelton High School students with a concentration on the U.S. Constitution. Al also introduced this program in the Intermediate School, the only non-high school program in Connecticut. He also was a member of the War Memorial Scholarship Commission. Among Al’s additional civic engagements, he was a Charter member and served as Past President of the Coram Gardens Civic Association.
Al was a member of the Veterans Memorial Monument Group and was a driving force behind the building and dedication of the Shelton War Memorial, the Veterans Memorial, and the Civil War Memorial. He was a member of the Building Committee-New Shelton Veterans Park and the Permanent War Memorial Commission. Al was a committeeman for the Korean War 50th Anniversary Commemoration 2000-2003. He was the Graves Registration Liaison between the American Legion and the City of Shelton, ensuring that all veteran gravestones were properly identified in Shelton cemeteries. For days before each annual Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Parade in May, Al and his team placed flags at cemetery markers of deceased veterans. He was also a member of the Derby-Shelton Memorial Day Parade Association.
Al helped influence the American Legion to recognize the service of veterans who served during the Cold War during which at least 1,600 service members lost their lives. After years of lobbying, the LEGION ACT (Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service) was adopted on July 30, 2019 and signed into law by the President of the United States recognizing Cold War era service members as “wartime veterans” thus expanding American Legion membership. Among his most cherished honors, Al was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame for his commitment to his country and community.
Al is survived by his beloved wife Eleanor Margiano Sabetta, his son Richard Sabetta and his wife Stephanie and his son Nicholas Sabetta and his wife Lisa. He is also survived by his grandchildren Jake and Jessye Sabetta. He was predeceased by his sister Philomena Sabetta Reilly.
On Friday, May 14th, friends are invited to his Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am at St. Margaret Mary Church, 50 Donovan Lane, Shelton. The funeral mass will also be livestreamed
. His burial with military honors will follow at Riverside Cemetery, and will also be livestreamed
. The Riverview Funeral Home, 390 River Rd., Shelton has been entrusted with his arrangements. Friends and family may leave condolences at www.riverviewfh.com.
In lieu of flowers Al’s family has requested that donations may be made to the Boys State Program, ℅ American Legion Post 16, P.O. Box 133, Shelton, CT 06484.