Swan Funeral Home

1224 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT


Michael J. Satmary

March 4, 1939March 20, 2020

Michael J. Satmary, 81, of Cornfield Point in Old Saybrook, died on March 20, 2020 peacefully in the arms of his loving wife, Paula M. Satmary. The only child of Michael and Catherine Satmary, he grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island. He graduated from Bryant University in 1961, where he met Paula. He was later drafted into the Army, serving two years stationed overseas in Germany. Upon settling back home, he soon started his own company, M. J. Satmary Construction Corporation, and provided a personalized building experience for his customers. Over the course of 54 years running his company, he built hundreds of homes in West Warwick and East Greenwich, RI and eventually moved to his paradise in Cornfield Point, Old Saybrook for his building “retirement”. During this retirement over the past 22 years, he lovingly built 43 homes in the Old Saybrook and Westbrook area. He considered his customers his family. He was more than a builder to them all; he was a lifelong friend. He generously gave each homeowner a lifetime warranty, and just prior to his passing he tenderly said “The lifetime warranty will now expire!”

Mike was an avid enthusiast of all cars, especially classic automobiles. He designed and built from scratch his own classic car, named “The Gatsby.” He spent several years bending and welding metal, connecting pipes, gas and exhaust lines, and polishing chrome. He brought his Gatsby to many car shows during his retirement and earned a total of 31 trophies. He also restored a classic 1956 T-Bird in remembrance of his wonderful teenage years. He was a great car aficionado and had an impressive depth of knowledge of engines, automobiles and what’s “inside the walls” of houses. Mike loved to work with his hands and preferred to be wearing his boots working at the job site and in his garage and workshop rather than sitting back in his loafers giving orders.

Mike cherished his two Havanese dogs, Shadow and Piper, who were always by his side. Mike was a huge NASCAR fan and a sports nut, always cheering for the Patriots, UConn Women’s Basketball, and Red Sox. Mike and Paula spent 15 wonderful winters as snowbirds in their beautiful cottage on the canal in Pine Island, Florida. Always living near the ocean, Mike loved boating with his family and friends and even caught some “personal-best” sized fish! Mike loved to throw a party and gather his friends and family around him. He had an infectious smile and was always quick to share a witty joke. Mike was a man of great depth and integrity. He was extremely generous and kind, always helping others, usually with his tools in hand. Friends sought him out for advice and casual chats. Mike would strike-up a conversation with anyone and instantly make them feel special and important. But the amazing thing about him was that he truly believed that – every person was special and important.

Mike took great pride in his work, his cars and boats, and his family. He was so proud of his three children and eight grandchildren and wanted to teach and impress upon them the importance of doing things for others and taking care of things for yourself and family. While he could have used his backhoe to dig trenches, he didn’t hesitate to pass out shovels to his kids and grandkids and ask them to dig trenches alongside him on the jobsite. He imparted his work ethic and his knowledge of all things tools, hardware, and engines to his family and friends. He insisted his grandkids would learn to drive a stick! In addition to his wife Paula, Mike leaves behind his son David and wife Lisa, grandchildren Ashley and Robin of Fort Myers, FL; his daughter Jennifer and husband Kris, grandchildren Kyle, Emily, and Lauren of Fredericksburg, VA; and son Steven and wife Tena, grandchildren Kaylie, Eliah, and Matthew of Mason, Ohio; and his cousin Bob O’Neill of East Greenwich, RI.

Donations may be made to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook, CT. Please add your memories of Mike online at www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/old-saybrook-ct/michael-satmary-9093079 through Swan Funeral Home in Old Saybrook.

A memorial service will be held on July 2nd at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 11:00 with a celebration reception immediately after. To quote Mike in his final hour, “I had a good run and I love you all dearly.”


2 July

Memorial Service

11:00 am

St Paul Lutheran Church

56 Great Hammock Rd
Old Saybrook, Connecticut 06475


Michael J. Satmary

have a memory or condolence to add?

Paul and Vicki Dorothy

March 26, 2020

Paula and Family,
We were so very sad to hear of Mike's passing. He was a great man, wonderful house builder and a good friend. We loved talking cars and racing with him. Mike blessed us with alot of garage door work and even better some great stories. Anyone that knew him was truly blessed, we will miss him deeply. Loved seeing him at the car shows and driving around town. Love and prayers to the entire family.
Paul and Vicki Dorothy

Stephen Correll

March 26, 2020

Dear Paula & Family,

Laurie & I sadly received the news of Mike's passing. He was truly a member of the "Greatest Generation"!! I got to know him well during the building of our house and he quickly became my friend. I had a lot in common with Mike and will miss him greatly. Smart as a whip in so many capacities; cars, construction, engineering... we could, and did talk for hours. A prouder man you could not find, evident in his family, his work, his life.

We all are better people for having known him. To Mike I award him the lifetime "Good Guy" trophy, God bless you Mike.

Terri & Jack Stavola

March 26, 2020

Although we did not know Mike very well, we could see his good heart & bright smile shining through. Paula, our deepest sympathy goes out to you, family, and friends. He will truly be missed.

Don Lucas

March 23, 2020

Mike was always fun and I enjoyed working with him or just visiting him. He always had a smile and welcomed me whenever we met. I was amazed at how he became such good friends with all the people he built "castles" for. He will be missed.

Gloria Bilodeau

March 23, 2020

I had the pleasure of witnessing Paula and Michael’s wedding party in their yard from afar as I was walking home from the beach on a beautiful summer day. Shortly after that Ray and I met the happy couple when they were planning the house they were building after removing their family cottage. We became fast friends and my husband loved playing jokes on Mike who was such a good sport about it. I have many wonderful memories of our time together and will cherish them. My deepest sympathy to Paula and her family.

Rob Johnson

March 23, 2020

Mike was almost like my second Dad giving me life advance whenever he had the chance. I respected him for his determination to do whatever he reached for and no was not an answer. I will miss his endless bragging about all of the newest trophies he won. :) From his old neighbors, we will miss you. Rob, Janet, Emily, Brian, Katie and Lindsey

Mike and Charlotte Andrus

March 23, 2020

I remember meeting you two in Pine Island Cove. A potluck at your home. Your Mike and my Mike talking Boston Whalers. Mike gave us a picture of all the homes in the Cove and a map of Pine Island sound. We took that map out in the boat every time we went boating. And thanks to that we could go all over. Never once did we get lost. Mike was a generous and gentle man. All that knew him are better for it. Take care Paula. Our sympathies to you and your family.
Mike and Char Andrus

Trish Falk

March 23, 2020

Mike and Paula were our next door neighbors here in Pine Island Cove. We were saddened when they moved back north last year, but also very happy that they were back in the home they so loved. Pete and I will be forever grateful for their generosity, when they gave us their lovely home to stay in for six weeks while my son Craig was in hospice care in Rocky Hill. What was so remarkable was the fact that they barely knew us then, being new to the neighborhood in the cove. We were very lucky to have them for neighbors for four years. Mike was always on hand with help or tools and he and Pete would figure things out together. Bless you my friend. Love, Trish and Pete

Betsy Abeles Weiss

March 23, 2020

Paula and family, thought I’d only met him once I know how beloved Mike was to your family and friends. I’m sure your loss is immeasurable and I just want you to know you’re in my thoughts and prayers.
I know his memory will forever be a blessing to you all.
With love and virtual hugs

Fred Scribner

March 23, 2020

The entire Scribner family is saddened indeed to hear "the lifetime warranty is up". We were one of Mike's first building projects in Saybrook - and became fast friends ever since. Thoughtful, funny, worldly wise - with unending know-how in the mechanical realm. A true mensch. He will be deeply missed.