Salvatore “Sal” Gambaro

Salvatore “Sal” Gambaro

Salvatore (“Sal”) Gambaro, age 82 of Madison, passed away on April 20, 2017 at AGrace HospiceCare after an intense battle with cancer.

Sal was born at home on June 27, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in the Bay Ridge neighborhood with his older sister Theresa (“Tessie”) and younger sister Norma, and graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in 1953. Sal served in the United States Air Force from 1954-1958. In 1954, he met Marcelle Rochon. Several letters and dates later, they were married in a small ceremony on September 13, 1958 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. They began their marriage in Potsdam, New York where Sal attended a small college. Shortly after, they moved to East Lansing, Michigan where Sal attended Michigan State University and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 1960, his Master’s Degree in 1963, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1966. He moved his family to Madison, Wisconsin in 1966 to begin his career at Mendota Mental Health Institute where he served in State service for 38 years as a Clinical Psychologist.

Sal lived a rich adventurous life as an avid bicyclist, skier, hiker, backpacker, and golfer. He took his family on numerous camping road trips across the United States, Europe and Canada. In the 1970’s, Sal and friends founded Madison’s Bombay Bicycle Club, and led his annual signature ride to the Wollersheim Winery. As empty-nesters, he and Marcelle travelled the world bicycling, hiking, backpacking and camping in places such as Italy, Austria, France, Ireland, China, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Aruba, Romania, Nicaragua, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina. Their hiking and backpacking adventures also included National Parks in Canada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Arkansas and California. When they weren’t exploring the rest of the world, Sal and Marcelle enjoyed numerous canoeing, bicycling and skiing trips in Wisconsin, or visiting family in New York and Ontario, Canada. In his leisure time, Sal taught himself chess, furniture building, and wood carving. Most of all, Sal enjoyed spending time with his seven grandchildren.

Sal’s gentle, kind spirit will be missed by his wife Marcelle, children Maria (Erik Brynildson), Michelle (Jeff Driscoll), Anthony (Angela Fenske), Andrea (Lewis Gunn), grandchildren Jefferson and Gregory Driscoll, Alexis and Luke Gambaro, Liam, Quinn and Avery Gunn, his sisters Norma (Carestia) and Tessie (Marcello “Johnnie” Marasco), and several nieces and nephews. Sal was preceded in death by his mother Maria Concetta (Pagliaro) Gambaro in 1972, and his father Antonio Gambaro in 1987, both Italian immigrants from the Calabria region of Italy.

The family sincerely thanks the staff at AGrace HospiceCare for their limitless compassion in in his end of life care. A celebration of Sal’s life and spirit will be held at a later date. Inquiries can be sent to Memorial gifts can be sent to: AGrace HospiceCare- Care for All Endowment, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711. Please specify that your gift is in memory of Salvatore Gambaro.