Salvatore J. Martelle

Passed away on August 23, 2021
Obituary of {subject.fullNameWithPrefixAndSuffix}

Salvatore Joseph Martelle, Sr. died peacefully on August 23, 2021 in Old Saybrook, at home with his wife of 28 years, Betty Limberger Martelle. Sal’s life revolved around family and work. He raised four children in a house he built in the 1970s in Wethersfield and spent summers on Long Island Sound in Old Lyme, boating, fishing and water skiing. In later years, he moved to Old Saybrook and enjoyed walks by the water with his second wife, Betty, and their long-lived dog, Talbot. Sal was born in 1940 in Hartford, Connecticut, to a proudly Italian family on Franklin Avenue in the South End. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1960s. After his discharge, he married Alynne Cummings and settled first in Rocky Hill and then Wethersfield. In 1964, he founded Martelle Builders Inc. and for the next 50-plus years he framed houses across Connecticut, building homes in which hundreds of Connecticut families live today. Though he remained involved in the company’s operation until his final days, he passed Martelle Builders on to his son S. Joseph Martelle Jr. and, through him, to his grandson, Nicholas Martelle, who operates it today. Starting in 1967, Martelle Builders began framing for Connecticut-based T&M Homes, a business association that would continue until the present. When he stepped down from day-to-day operations of Martelle Builders, he became project manager for T&M, a position he held until close to his 80th birthday. On the job site, he was known for his work ethic and his physical toughness. He never complained, routinely shrugging off injury and illness, rising before dawn to work long days in summer’s heat and winter’s cold. He cherished his Roman Catholic faith, and, though he had little interest in philosophy, nonetheless embodied a deep belief in the benefit of hard work, in teaching by example, and in living by the credo: “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” He was never short of the requisite will. He lived during a time of questioning about men’s role in society, but to him it was always clear: show up, work hard, don’t complain, and take care of your family. He was pre-deceased by his father, Angelo J. Martelle; mother, Rose Bonaiuto Martelle of Wethersfield; and brother, Robert Martelle of Wethersfield. He is survived by sisters, Anne Martelle of Wethersfield, Malina (Jeanne) Martelle of Ocean Park, Maine, and Mary Jane Martelle-Aube and husband George Aube of Old Orchard Beach, Maine. He is survived by his children and their spouses, S. Joseph Martelle Jr. and daughter-in-law Cynthia Santoro Martelle of Wethersfield, Kelly Martelle San Martin and son-in-law Wilder San Martin of Newington, Laura Lynne Powell and son-in-law David Lesher of Sacramento, California; and Alvin Powell and daughter-in-law Jennifer Heldt Powell of Winthrop, Massachusetts. He also leaves stepdaughters, Tamara Limberger D’Onofrio and husband Michael D’Onofrio of Old Saybrook, and Adore Limberger Ramans of Manchester; stepson, John Limberger and wife Roxann Gilliam Limberger of Leland, North Carolina; son-in-law, Rauls Ramans of Manchester, and nephew, Jonathan Aube of Old Orchard Beach, Maine. He is also survived by grandchildren, Nicholas Martelle of Tolland, Matthew Martelle of Wethersfield, Gael San Martin and Gioia San Martin of Newington, Christopher Lesher and Timothy “Killian” Lesher of Sacramento, California; MacKenzie Powell, Ruby Powell, Ruben Powell, Zara Powell and Corinne Powell, all of Massachusetts; Evangeline and Ivars Ramans of Manchester; Evan, Ethan and Hunter Limberger of North Carolina, as well as four great-grandchildren with a fifth on the way. Family and friends are welcome to calling hours Friday, September 3 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Boulevard in Wethersfield, Connecticut. (Masks are required.) A private burial is planned the following day. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For online expressions of sympathy to the family, please visit

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