SALVATORE "SAL" BREONTE was born at home on August 4, 1916, in Garfield, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants. He developed a love of "treasure" collecting with his father during the Great Depression and this carried throughout his lifetime. Most of what he collected he gave to others. At the young age of 12, he became an avid flyer of racing pigeons.
In 1942, he met Ann, a beautiful young lady he worked with at Clifton Clothing Company. He made and won a bet with his friends that he and Ann would marry and so they did in 1943. For a time, he was employed at Miles Laboratories, but throughout his life he mainly worked in the culinary field. He owned two Italian restaurants in New Jersey.
When he ventured to Las Vegas, he eventually became employed at the Nevada Test Site, where he worked as a cook. He continued his passion for pigeon racing in Las Vegas until the age of 89 (with the help of his good friend, Russ Osmond) and was very proud of his awards. He dabbled in gold mining and staked a claim to a mine on the Arizona side near Lake Mead. Although his gold mine didn't produce a fortune, Sal was rich in so many ways and his attitude showed it.
Sal loved - loved - loved to sing, mainly Tony Bennett-type songs and Italian love ballads. His interests included reading Western novels, putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing pinochle and "treasure hunting".
He is preceded in death by his wife, Ann; his parents, Salvatore and Mary Briganti; his siblings, Carmelo (Carmen)Breonte, Katie Bertola, Mary Scarangella and Charles Briganti. He is survived by his brother, Dominic Briganti. Sal has five daughters; Maryann (Dennis) Blackmer, Providence Breonte, Roberta (Leon) Pizek, Linda (Michael) Plunkett, Michele (Wayne) Logan. He also has 10 grandchildren, Denise Thistlewaite, Leanne Yacuk, Michele Gallegos, Michael Pizek, Karen Pizek, Sheri Pizek, Shannon Jones, Stacey Van Kirk, Rachel Plunkett and Jeremy Logan. He has 20 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
Sal was gregarious, loved people and never met a stranger he didn't soon consider a friend. Everyone has a "Sal" story, at least one. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Services will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017, at 10:00 am at Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 6300 N. Meridian Road, Meridian, ID 83646. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.