Sally Castanza Obituary

Sally Morse Castanza
Sally Morse Castanza

April 18, 1929 - January 27, 2012
Born in New York City, NY
Resided in Waterford, CT


Sarah (Sally) Morse Castanza, 82, of Waterford, died peacefully after a short illness on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, surrounded by family and friends.

She was born in New York City Apr. 18, 1929, the daughter of Harry Franklin Morse and Marion Vanderhoef Morse.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Dr. Joseph J. Castanza; daughter Catherine (Cathy) Castanza Elliott and son-in-law James Elliott of East Lyme, CT and grandchildren Jesse Martin Elliott and Lauren Sarah Elliott; son Gregory Morse Castanza and daughter-in-law Melinda Lewis Castanza of Glastonbury, and grandchildren Carter Morse Castanza and Colton Lewis Castanza. She is also survived by her sister Elizabeth (Betty) Vanderhoef Morse Baptie of North Haven. She was predeceased by her sister Catherine Morse.

Sally grew up in the family home on Ocean Avenue in New London and attended Williams Memorial Institute on Broad Street. After graduation from Colorado Women's College in Denver, she worked in the offices of Connecticut Circle magazine where her father was editor and publisher. Her grandfather, C. W. Morse, was owner of Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, and Groton Iron Works and Noank Shipyard in CT.

Sally and Joe were married at Pequot Chapel in New London, Aug. 18, 1951, following a courtship that began with their first date at the Lighthouse Inn.

She was active in the lives of her children and community, serving as a Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout leader, and lifetime member of St. James Episcopal Church. Sally was a past president of the Waterford Women's Club, docent at Harkness Memorial State Park, and member of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Women's Auxiliary, L&M Benefactors Society (LAMBS), New London Tourist Bureau, Thames River Garden Club, and Child & Family Agency Auxiliary. Her support of L&M Hospital included participation in the High Fever Follies, in which she played leading roles onstage to the musical accompaniment of the orchestra conducted by her husband.

In addition, Sally was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the Society for the Mayflower Descendants. She was a consummate hostess, known for her patriotic 4th of July picnics and festive holiday parties.

An accomplished golfer, Sally was a multiple winner of the ladies' club championship at New London Country Club. She also enjoyed tennis and skiing. Sally and Joe loved to travel and together they visited 50 countries and 15 islands.

With her zest for life and quick wit, Sally was spirited, feisty, passionate and caring. She will be deeply missed by family and friends. Her ashes will be scattered over Long Island Sound and also interred in the family mausoleum at Bath, Maine.

Calling hours are Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Thomas L. Neilan Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Ave., New London. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at St. James Episcopal Church, 76 Federal Street, New London.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the CT Humane Society, the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT, or the Garde Arts Center.

Online condolences may be expressed at

To plant a tree in memory of Sally Castanza, please visit our Tribute Store.




Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT US 06320
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
St. James Episcopal Church
Huntington Street
New London, CT US 06320
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
11:00 AM


Connecticut Humane Society
169 Old Colchester Road
Quaker Hill, CT US 06375
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