Salvatore “Sam” Sarra
Salvatore “Sam” Sarra, 91, of
away April 4, 2015, at a local hospice care facility. He was born on January
Sarra. He was raised in
grade school and
Wentworth Institute in MA abd studied Mechanical Engineering. He enlisted in
the Navy and served in World War II from 1943-1946 on the USS Delta, receiving
the following medals: World War II Victory Medal, American Area Medal, Asiatic
Pacific Area Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theatre Medal.
Early in Sam’s memorable achievements was his design for bomb racks
installed on jet airplanes. Sam worked for Daytona Marine and Boat Works and
was well-known for his engineering genius with his design of tandem engines,
375 horsepower turbocharged V-8’s top speed in excess of 60 mph over smooth water, thus
winning the Miami to New York run, 1257 miles in 31 hours and 32 minutes, on
June 22, 1964, a record run that held for 17 years.
Sam also presented a paper to the Society of Automotive
Engineers on the advantages of turbocharging gasoline marine engines to obtain
Sam was awarded membership into the GULF 100 MILE-PER-HOUR
CLUB, having attained the speed of 100mph on the water in accordance with
regulations of the American Power Boat Association for mile trials and
competitive racing. He was also known as one of the fiercest competitors that
ever raced anywhere.
Sam married Carol Ann Basche Basten of
Sam was employed by the following companies in
Mercury Marine where he was the Chief Engineer of Mercruiser, Kiekhaefer
Aeromarine where he was Chief Engineer, Holton Axle & Transmission Company
where he designed and built a small tractor for the underdeveloped countries of
the world, and Wells Manufacturing Company until his retirement 23 years ago in
1992. He didn’t stop there! In 1989 Sam was instrumental in the purchase and
development of a boat marina in Pipe, WI, known as Calumet Harbor Marina, Inc.
Sam relished challenges, difficult achievements, and new
adventures in “making
things better.” He was a
true engineer and at any given time he was reading, researching, solving
problems and working on a multitude of projects. He enjoyed hobbies such as
boating, airplanes, model airplanes, planting trees, drawing, oil painting, and
teaching his children many things – not all work but fun, too. He also
cherished precious moments with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He
had a very warm and funny sense of humor.
Survivors include his loving and caregiving wife Carol of
Fond du Lac, WI; his two children Jacob C. (Mary) Basten of De Pere, WI and
Barbara Basten (Mike De Cleene) of Green Bay, WI; three grandchildren Jacob C.
(Stacy) Basten Jr. of Eagle, WI, Jenifer (Justin) Leistiko of Brookfield, WI,
and Julianna (Dale) Huens of Green Bay, WI; four great grandchildren Jacob III, Madelyn,
Gracie Basten, and expected Baby Leistiko; sisters-in-law Peggy Sarra, Annette
Fabry, Cecile (Norman) Goral, Deborah Basche; brother-in-law Wynn (Suaree)
Basche, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Salvatore and Ruth
Sarra, daughter Cindy Basten-Turley, brothers Peter R. Sarra and Franklin R.
Sarra, sisters-in-law Helen Sarra and Laurie Basche, nephew Michael Sarra,
mother-in-law and father-in-law Frank and Caroline Basche, brothers-in-law
Stephen Basche and Lee Fabry.
Visitation: Family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, May 7,
2015, from 5:00PM until 7:00PM and Friday, May 8, 2015, from 10:00AM to 11:15AM
at Zacherl Funeral Home,
Service: A Liturgy of the Word will be held at
11:30AM Friday, May 8, 2015 at Zacherl Funeral Home, with burial to follow at
St. Mary’s Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, the family will forward memorials in Sam’s name to the
Our family would like to thank the
staff at St. Agnes Hospital, Agnesian Hospice, our home caregivers, especially
Steve and Gerry; and a special thanks to our angel on earth, niece, Susan
Zacherl Funeral Home is serving the family. www.zacherlfuneralhome.com