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 Steven Sabino Gilberti

Steven Sabino Gilberti

Death 5 May 2014
Burial Totowa, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID 131915228 · View Source
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From the Vandermay home page

Steven Gilberti, age 58 of Wayne, entered into eternal rest on Monday, May 5, 2014

Steven was born in Paterson in August 1955 joining his older sister Michele in the loving home of his parents, Michael and Ruth Tinella Gilberti. The house was a big two-family house on Maple Street and his great-grandmother, Anna Chiefa, lived with them too. Mama Nina, as his great-grandmother was called, adored Steven and called him "Sunny" because he brought sunshine to everyone.

Steven's house was a block from Westside Park in Totowa and in winter, spring, summer and fall, the park was a place of many happy times and memories with all the other kids in Steven's neighborhood as well as his friends from Paterson School Number 5 where he attended.

Steven's mom, Ruth Gilberti used the word "pistol" to describe his behavior as a child. It seemed like every couple of weeks she or his dad, Michael, were in his school about Steven's antics. He was a great student academically, but loved to talk -- even when the teacher was talking! For example, Steven would walk around his fifth grade teacher's, Mr. Gibb's classroom, jacket half off, talking to his friends--and he had a lot of them--as the teacher tried to get the class to settle down. When he was outside playing with his friends, his Mom could hear the other kids saying, "Steve, your mother's calling you," but he would pretend he didn't hear her. (Maybe he was hard of hearing!) But actually, he wasn't ready for dinner, or homework--he was playing. He loved penny candy--which was "forbidden." Anytime he was given a quarter or even a nickel, he would sneak off to the candy store (often with one of his friends or cousins) to buy as much candy as he could. Like many kids, he was told when being grounded or punished, "We're only doing this because we love you." Always quick with an answer, Steve once said, "Mommy, could you please not love me so much." That became famous.

Steve loved to laugh and play tricks -- he tried to study magic by buying a magic kit. He loved to buy tricks from the Jonathan Smith catalog -- "whoopee" cushions, matches that went out as soon as you lit them, and candles that wouldn't go out. He was surrounded by neighborhood friends and the street outside the house was always full of kids playing stick ball or war or races. Despite his antics, he was the funny and lovable son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, who always brought laughter into the family. His mother said he grew up to be a wonderful son, husband and father to his two boys. He was the kind of kid who brought love and laughter everywhere he went. His dad, Michael, took him everywhere, and they could often be seen on summer nights walking together in Westside Park, going down to the river to "fish" with a string, a makeshift hook and a lump of Wonder bread as bait. His dad, Mike loved sports and spent endless hours teaching Steve and other boys to catch. Steve played Little League baseball.To his sister Michele, he was her best friend, even though they were almost complete opposites; he was super-active, she loved to read and study. That didn't always work out perfectly.

In 1968, when Steven was thirteen, his family moved to Yorktown Road in Wayne. It was there that he took a great interest in sports including Tennis, Hockey, Racquetball, Softball, and Golf. Besides participating in these sports, he also loved rooting for the Giants, Rangers and Yankees--the local "home teams." Steven attended Schuyler Colfax Middle School before eventually graduating from Wayne Hills High School with the class of 1973. For the next forty-six years, sports in Wayne, NJ and the "home teams" became a huge part of his life, especially with his sons Michael (21) and Christian (19). You couldn't imagine a father more proud and devoted to his sons' sports careers, from the Boys Club teams to the Wayne Valley games of Lacrosse and Football.

But that's getting WAY ahead of the story.

In 1983, while working the 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM shift at Inmont Corporation in Hawthorne, Steven met a young lady named Maria Lombardo. Her office was across from the conference room and her desk faced out toward the hall. As a member of Inmont's Fire Brigade, Maria often saw Steven walking the hall with his fire helmet and rubber boots on. You could say he caught her eye. She thought he was cute in his fire outfit and she thought to herself, "Someday I'm going to marry that man." Well, they did end up going out for dinner to Mama Theresa's in Haledon and during conversation over dinner; Steven declared to Maria that he was "the kind of guy" who would never get married. At the end of the date, she was disappointed that he only kissed her on the cheek--and he didn't call her back! After some time, Maria decided to take matters into her own hands. One morning, she called Steven, just before he was getting off of work from the nightshift--he thought it was maybe one of his day crew calling in sick. What a surprise. Maria told him that she'd been thinking about him and invited him to stop by her office to see her pictures of her Club-Med vacation in Cancun. Maria's invitation worked! Steven asked her out again and the rest, as they say, is history. Steven and Maria were united in holy matrimony on Friday, November 28, 1986 at Our Lady of the Valley R.C. Church in Wayne. It was a great day for a wedding because it was the day after Thanksgiving and everyone was off. Their honeymoon was to be in Hawaii with a stop on the way in San Francisco so that Steven could see his beloved NY Giants play the 49ers in Candlestick Park. They brought a huge banner with the words "Just Married! Go Giants!" written on it. Much to their delight, they made national television – their own 15 minutes of fame!

Seven years later, Steven and Maria welcomed their firstborn, Michael, who was quickly known as "Prince Michael" because he was the first grandson on the Gilberti side of the family, and the first baby to come into the Lombardo family in many years. Two years later, Michael was joined by his brother Christian. For Steven, one boy was a dream come true but when Maria gave birth to Christian, Michael's little brother, Steven felt like he won the daily double! Now he had, not just one, but two boys to share his passion for sports with. To Steven, his boys were everything. He proudly served as their coach in little league baseball at the Wayne Boys and Girls Club and, from the time Michael was in Kindergarten, he coached them in whatever sport was going on. At this point in his life, Steve was well established in his job as a NewsInk product specialist with Sun Chemical in East Rutherford. He was great at his work, consequently getting job offers that would have brought more wealth and status. But Steven turned those offers down repeatedly because time with family was more important. For years, this poster has hung in his home, it says, "A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove ... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

Steven had the privilege of vacationing with Maria and the boys at least two-to-three times a year via their timeshare. Destinations included Maine, Arizona, Florida, Las Vegas, New York, Cape Cod, Mexico, Bahamas, and a recent cruise to Bermuda. Many trips were also made with family and friends to see Giant, Ranger and Yankee games. His devotion to sports was so serious that once, when Maria thought she was pregnant with Christian, Steven told her "honey, please don't go for that pregnancy test tomorrow, my team is in the finals and I just can't handle any more pressure than that!" Much to Maria's chagrin, one of Steven's other loves was the Grateful Dead. He and his buddies from high school went to lots of their concerts all over the U.S. - literally hundreds!

Last year he fashioned an outdoor living room out of a gazebo, complete with a couch, chairs and a flat screen TV. He loved it because he could be one with all the flowers he planted. As he battled his cancer over the past five years, Steven also enjoyed gardening in the backyard. Recently Steve transformed the upstairs Kitchen into a Sports Bar and with an adjacent "Man Cave." With Mike and Uncle Sal, Maria's brother, Steve watched over every day's progress -- even adding a few brush strokes to the new paint. He would describe the awesome natural wood bar they finished and everything else in his telephone calls with all the people who loved him so much. In this special room, he hung up the boys High School sports jerseys, placed the photos of Mike and Christian in action shots in football and lacrosse, and enjoyed the two flat screen TV's. For this summer, he had big plans for the outside yard that he loved--a hot tub, tranquility garden and a fire pit.

Even with all his interests and passions in life, none was ultimately more important to him than his love for God. Steven was known to daily declare that he was grateful that "Jesus died for my sins." From the time he was a child, he always said Grace before each dinner—even at public restaurants where strangers would comment that he was an amazing kid.After marrying Maria, he soon got the reputation in the family as the go-to-guy to say Grace before the meals at all the family functions -- especially weddings. It became so frequent that Steven used to joke saying "one more time and I can get one of those clergy placards so that I can have privileged parking.

Steven's life could be described with one word – LOVE! He had lots of love for everyone and he never drew a line between family and friends. Everyone was considered immediate family to Steven. He was funny beyond words and had an amazing ability to recall scenes from Seinfeld to Abbott and Costello episodes. He never, ever had a negative thing to say about anyone and, despite his illness for the last five years, he never complained, always having hope. His heart was big beyond words and if you saw him, you probably got a hug. His boys considered him a great role model and their best friend. His darling wife Maria said "the world lost a kind, loving, human being. He was the best person I knew!

Surviving is his beloved wife of 28 years, Maria; his two dear sons: Michael and Christian; his loving mother: Ruth Gilberti of Greenacres, FL; and his sister Michele and husband Jeff Steinberg of Leesburg, VA. Steven was predeceased by his loving father Michael in 2002. He is also survived by his Mother- and Father-In-Law, Santina & Giuseppe Lombardo, and Maria's siblings Sal, Josephine (Vittorioso), Carmen, Paula (Ciaravino), their spouses and children. Beyond his immediate family, Steven had a special "sibling" relationship with his cousins from the Armero, Portelli and Brillante Families and all their children who all fondly call him "Uncle Steve." Remembrances posted from his nieces and nephews on his memorial website speak for everyone:"...I will never laugh again the way I did when I was with you."

Family Members




  • Created by: Kylemcgrath14
  • Added: 
  • Find A Grave Memorial 131915228
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Steven Sabino Gilberti (3 Aug 1955–5 May 2014), Find A Grave Memorial no. 131915228, citing Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Kylemcgrath14 (contributor 47514884) .