Constance Violet Sapienza
Constance “Connie” Violet Sapienza, 97, passed away Saturday May 15th, 2021. She was born on June 30, 1923 in Lowell, Indiana to Joseph and Marie Kalemba. She was the fifth in line of seven children, having three sisters and three brothers. Connie enjoyed growing up near her grandparent’s farm, and especially liked any chore that involved working with the farm animals. She was quick to tell you she much preferred being outside with the boys than being inside with the girls!
Growing up during the Depression taught Connie to be a hard worker, and she knew the value of doing a job well. Over the course of her early life she held many jobs to help the family make ends meet. She worked in a bakery, worked as a waitress, but her favorite job was as a ticket taken for the Illinois Central Railroad. The family moved from Lowell, IN to Florida in 1938.
In 1943 she married Alfio Sapienza, who was in the Army Air Corps, and quickly settled into life as a military wife. She enjoyed the adventure that came with it. In 1945 she became a mother to their only daughter, Jill. It was evident how proud she was to be a mother, and eventually a grandmother. Connie loved the outdoors and “digging in the dirt.” She was an avid gardener, and her vegetable gardens were legendary. She was a great cook. She loved animals, especially dogs, and enjoyed the many pets she had throughout her life. Connie had a dry sense of humor, loved to laugh and tell stories, and loved spending time with her family. Because of her laid back personality, she didn’t get upset very often and accepted life’s challenges as they came to her. Her famous saying was, “One day at a time…”
She and Al were married 57 years prior to his death in 2000. They were a team at everything they did in life, from parenting, to gardening, to camping and fishing, to building a barn on their property, to raising chickens, to helping neighbors in need, and raising their granddaughter, Carolyn. They were very supportive of each other’s interests and truly enjoyed being together. Al fondly referred to Connie as “Babe”.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Marie Kalemba, her husband, Alfio Sapienza, and all of her brothers and sisters; Tony Kalemba, Ed Kalemba, Josephine Jones, Aggie Collins, Helen Gray, and Jack Kalemba. Connie will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Al and brother, Eddie, in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.
She is survived by her daughter Jill Culberson of Edmond, OK, her granddaughter, Carolyn Thompson and her husband, Scott Thompson, of Oklahoma City, OK and numerous nieces and nephews across the country.