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1924 Sam 2023

Sam J. Gulatto

August 1, 1924 — May 31, 2023

Sam J. Gulatto 1924—2023


Sam J Gulatto, 98, of Rockford, IL, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. He was born August 1, 1924, in Rockford, son to Peter & Josephine Gulotta. He attended Rockford West High School & then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served for 2 years, flying B25’s at 4 U.S. base locations. Upon returning home, he went to work for Illinois Bell Telephone Company. There he worked for 33 years, installing & repairing phone systems. During his career, he received several mentions & awards.


In 1946, he married Eleanor Migliore & had 2 children (Greg & Gail). In 1960, he married Marjorie Hodges & had 2 children (Michelle & Marc). He was married to her for 52 years, until her death in 2012.


Since 1985, Sam has been a member of the Verdi Club & was on the men’s auxiliary & bocce teams. He was a handyman & groundskeeper there for many years. He built several things inside the building, & he & his brother planted many of the trees that line the river near the bocce courts.


Sam was great at repair & building things with wood. He helped build his own house & built his garage. He also built a triangular storm shelter in the basement, a large rolling “puppet theatre” box for Michelle, & a shed-sized playhouse for Marc, complete with electricity & telephone service! He also liked to invent things ~ most notably his “Clothes Claw” & “Pop Cart” products. He frequently helped his nephew, Jimmy, with carpentry in Jimmy’s workshop. He also did repairs for many relatives & friends & sometimes made them decorative items out of wood.


Sam loved people, & cared greatly about his city, his country, & the world. He frequently wrote editorial letters to the newspaper, with critique of issues he felt were not right, & a number of his articles were published. He would help anyone at any time. He had a quick wit, a delightful smile, & a friendly, playful demeanor that made everyone who met him really like him a LOT. He had a strong faith in God, which helped him be strong & supportive for others.


Another thing he loved was singing & dancing. He was always singing ~ usually 40’s tunes, but sometimes from the 20’s or 50’s. He had a great voice & knew the words & tunes to over 1000 songs, at last count. Being around him was almost like being a musical! He was a good dancer, & would “cut a rug” at all Verdi dances.


Sam loved God, family, friends, kids, animals, singing, gardening, fishing, bowling, building things, & most of all….giving! Most everyone who has known him comments on what an upstanding, helpful, & amazing man he was. If you are so moved, please share a memory of Sam on this site, so the family can know even more of how he impacted his friends & loved ones.


Preceded in death by his parents; brothers– Jasper “Jay”, Joseph “Buck”, Alec, & Anthony; sister, Josephine Guarino; daughter, Gail Hernandez; first wife, Eleanor Migliore (Gulatto); second wife, Marjorie Hodges (Gulatto); grandson- Andrew Gulatto. Survivors include his children- Greg (Vicki) Gulatto, Michelle Gulatto, & Marc (Janna) Gulatto; brother-in-law- Michael (Donna) Hodges; son-in-law- Lou Hernandez; 6 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; & many nieces & nephews.


Visitation to take place Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 3910 N. Rockton Road, Rockford, IL, 61103 from 5:00 p.m. until the time of rosary at 7:00 p.m. Visitation to continue on Thursday, June 15, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Funeral Mass, 10:30 a.m., at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 2400 Bell Ave, Rockford, IL, 61103. Interment to follow with military honors at Willwood Burial Park, Rockford, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family or to BrightFocus Foundation (for Alzheimer’s disease research). 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sam J. Gulatto, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Riverside Chapel

3910 North Rockton Avenue, Rockford, IL 61103

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Visitation

Thursday, June 15, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Bernadette Catholic Church

2400 Bell Avenue, Rockford, IL 61103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Thursday, June 15, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Bernadette Catholic Church

2400 Bell Avenue, Rockford, IL 61103

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Burial

Thursday, June 15, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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