Salvatore A. Davino, 79, passed away peacefully on January 17, 2021.
Born and raised in South Orange, NJ, Sal Davino began his career with his father in a home improvement business. His work in that field led him to the construction of custom homes, as well as retail and industrial construction. Sal shifted his focus and became involved in commercial real estate at Gibraltar Land Resources and Development Company, a division of Gibraltar Securities. Three years later, he formed Fidelity Land Development Corporation.
Sal was passionate about his business and presided over Fidelity Land Development Corp. and its affiliated companies until he passed. He was an active builder, owner and manager of shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, golf and recreation centers. Sal also oversaw his family’s interests in a restaurant development and management business that owns and operates more than ten outlets in malls and casinos in the United States and Canada.
Sal put the same commitment into his community involvement and philanthropic endeavors as he did his many business ventures. He dedicated his time and resources generously. He was currently the President of the Board of Shepherds of Youth Charitable Trust, in support of The Vocationist Fathers and Sisters and St. Michael School in Newark. His passion was helping the students of SMS to get a quality education that they might not have otherwise been able to afford. This had been a nearly 30 year commitment. He was on the Board of Trustees of John Cabot University in Rome, helping to expand its campus, and thus their student enrollment, from just one building when he joined the Board in 2007. He was also currently on the Board of Opportunity Project in Millburn and the Board of Overseers of Redemptoris Mater Seminary. He had previously led Columbus Hospital in Newark as the Chairman of the Board, and Chair of the Building Committee, as well as working on the Strategic Planning Committee. His involvement with Columbus Hospital led him to serve on the Cathedral Healthcare System Board of Governors. He was a Commissioner of the Italian-American Heritage Commission and was the Chair of the New Jersey / Italy Trade Council. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Bank, and saw it through its expansion and purchase by SB One Bank. In 2016, Sal and his wife Fran expanded their commitment to Morristown Medical Center with the dedication of the Davino Family Pavilion.
In 2003, Sal was proudly awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Italian-American National Hall of Fame for his philanthropic endeavors.
Sal was the beloved husband of 58 years to Fran, his high school sweetheart from Columbia High School. Fran and Sal resided in Harding, NJ, and enjoyed time at the Jersey Shore, in Florida, and most especially at his farm in New York State.
He was the devoted father of Sandi Davino Niccolai, her husband Greg, Anthony Davino and his wife Lisa. Cherished grandfather of Rebecca Niccolai & Gregory Niccolai; Catherine Davino & Caroline Davino. Dear brother of Anthony T. Davino, his wife Lucille, Elizabeth Habedank and her late husband George. Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Sal is pre-deceased by his parents, Antoinette & Anthony Davino and his sister, Ann Gechtman.
He lived life with abundant joy, gratitude and passion. He loved traveling, entertaining, music, hunting, fishing, boating, his pets, gardening, and looking at the world uniquely through the eyes of a lifelong innovator and creative inventor. He always had a hearty laugh, great joke or story to share, and would engage any room with his presence.
Sal often remarked that his goal was to leave this world better than he found it. It was his mission to positively affect the lives of others and to make a difference. He treated everyone he met as though they were family, always offering his help professionally or personally, and touching the lives of many. He further believed that the contributions he made were a credit to all those in his life, who inspired and supported him.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and Capacity limitations, the funeral services are being held privately by the family, however, relatives and friends can view the funeral mass virtually by visiting https://churchofchristtheking.org/sunday-mass-live-stream.com at 11:30am. A memorial service will be held at a later date, when Sal's life can be celebrated properly, post pandemic. The family appreciates your understanding and support during this time.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sal’s name can be directed to Shepherds of Youth, or to the Davino Family Foundation for distribution to Sal’s favorite charities and organizations. Donations for both may be sent to the attention of Rebecca Niccolai at 641 Shunpike Road, 2nd Floor, Chatham, NJ 07928.