Santa Strollo-Stoner, affectionately known as Sadie, passed away at her home in Brick on Saturday, February 20, 2021 surrounded by her children. Sadie was 90 years old.
She was born in Brooklyn, NY on September 18, 1930 to John and Louisa DiMaio. The family moved to Red Bank when she was a child.
She is predeceased by her husband, John Strollo and her second husband, Howard Stoner.
She is survived by her children, John Strollo and his wife Janet, Marylou Strollo, Sandy Habeck and her husband John, and Natalie Strollo. Her grandchildren John Habeck and his wife Amy, Michael Habeck and his wife Caroline, Katie Kommer and her husband Tate, Emily Koprowski and her husband Craig, and Maggie Strollo. As well as ten great-grandchildren, Jack, Molly and Janie Habeck, Harper, Henry and Hazel Habeck, Luca and Ava Kommer, and Adeline and Cecelia Koprowski.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, March 1st at 10:30am at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, 408 Prospect Street, Long Branch. Interment will follow at Woodbine Cemetery, 1173 Eatontown Blvd., Oceanport. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence by selecting the Tribute/Guestbook link above.
A letter from her son:
My name is John Strollo, I am the only son of Santa (Sadie) Strollo-Stoner.
My sisters, MaryLou, Sandy and Natalie, asked me to try and put into words the person that our mother was to celebrate her skills, her loving ways and her life.
As I look back at my life, and my life with her, I realize that any words I give you won’t do her justice.
Mom came from a tough background and had to learn how to stand on her feet early in life. Luckily, she was from the era where so many people had to do the same thing. She used her skills and her wits to solve problems. She had an amazing array of talents, she was well known for her ability to cook, and she always paid homage to her own mother describing, how her mom could make a meal out of anything.
She was a seamstress, a master tailor, and made her living by altering men’s suits and clothing at Woolley’s on Broadway in Long Branch. She could do anything with a needle and thread; curtains, dresses, suits all made by hand. She made us Halloween costumes, toys, doll’s clothes, and overcoats.
The most remarkable thing about her was her ability to solve mechanical problems and use tools. She would tackle almost any project and could build anything she had the muscle for. She often helped us through projects with her insight and suggestions. She could look at something, no matter how perplexing, and propose a solution that was so obvious yet so sublime.
She was an artist and could not only create her own works, but she could look at a photograph or another painting and duplicate it well enough for it to be sold. She had an eye for color and perspective that was rare, and she tried to share this with us as children, always patiently teaching us how to create artwork. She could’ve been a teacher but luckily, she was only our teacher.
As her children, we never lacked food or clothing. She had her mother’s knack for cooking and sewing and although we didn’t have a lot of money, we were always clean and well fed. She encouraged us to try new things and stood by us through success and failure.
She was kind to both friends and strangers, and her house was always open. She would make a meal or a snack at the drop of a hat. She was a gracious host who took great pains to make her guests feel welcome and relaxed. She taught us that when it came to guests, it was always better to have more to offer than you needed, than to need more than you had to offer. No one could ever say that they left our house hungry.
She could drive a car at a time when many women could not, and she valued the independence that driving gave her, often providing rides to her sisters so that they could shop or take our cousins to the doctors.
I am most grateful for these last few years. She and I became more kindred spirits than just mother and son. We shared stories, problems and solutions, and we had a lot of laughs even if it was mostly over the phone. She would ask me about my job or my family, or what I was doing that day. Often I would tease her and tell her something silly and we’d have a laugh.
I am grateful that I spent her last few days on earth with her, even sleeping in the same room on her last night.
I don’t know how to thank her other than to live my life to the fullest, just as she lived hers. I know my sisters agree with me on this.
No words will describe how much we will miss her. We thank God for the time we had her, and we thank God that she is now at peace. Mom will live forever in our hearts.
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