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In Memory

Mr. Emil Sanzari



SANZARI--Emil J., passed away peacefully on June 19, 2018 at home.  His is greatly mourned by his spouse George Erson and by his cousins Dorothy Barrows; Evelyn Luciani and their families and many friends.  Also by his Godsons Steven Barrows, Steven Gjolanga and a Goddaughter Susan Mayer-Bacon and their families.  The Funeral Mass will be held at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena, 411 East 68th St, NYC, on Friday June 22, at 11:15am.  Entombment to follow at the Madonna Cemetery, Ft. Lee, New Jersey.

Mr. Zarro with Mr. Sanzari, 1973

Mr. Sanzari and Mr. Verga, 1974.


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07/14/18 02:03 PM #1    

Kenny "Tash" Tashian (1964)


As fate would have it, he was in the library the day I had my short but epic fight with Jimmy Haugh ('63).  We cleared tables, knocked people to the ground, and my shirt was torn to shreds.  Actually, it was Jimmy's shirt, and that's what the fight was all about.


Miss Carney stood by as Mr. Sanzari inserted himself between us and broke up the fight.  I think the only reason we shut it down was because neither of us could believe who was putting himself in harm's way.  He took us in the back and lectured us in a way that left both of us feeling like jerks.  It was the first time that I had ever heard a teacher drop the "F" bomb.  As Jimmy and I left the library, we looked at each other in disbelief and said, "Sanzari?" which was quickly followed by, "He said Fuck!"  Sorry if that offends anyone, but that's the facts of the matter.


The following June I signed up for his summer English class not because I flunked English, but because I heard that he was good...very good at getting kids interested in a subject that the other English teachers made boring.  That's when I read Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," a book that 50 years later inspired me to run with the bulls in Pomplona with Charley Hlawatsch ('64) and Bob Probst ('64).


Check out the picture below.   It's doubtful that any of the parents in attendance really understood what he was talking about.  "You've got to be tuned in"  He was way ahead of his time.








07/15/18 02:08 AM #2    

James Frederick Sabini (1963)

Mr/ Sanzari's favorite saying was from his favorite book. " No Man Is An Island "It's funny how I never forgot that. RIP Mr. Sanzare and Im sorry for being a big pain in the a** for you 

07/15/18 06:27 AM #3    

Joe Sacchi (1962)

Very sorry to hear about this. I had Mr. Sanzari for English Lit and he made the topic enjoyable. He made me interested in the topic and his classes went very fast. A true gentleman and and am glad he pass thru my life.

Joe Sacchi 62'

07/15/18 01:36 PM #4    

Ms. Maryann DeLillo (Virack)

So sorry to hear of the passing of Emil Sanzari. He was one of the most compassionate and caring people I have ever known. As a first year English teacher at PHS, he was 'my boss.' He helped me through many personal and professional dramas. He let me leave and covered my classes to go home and find my engagement ring accidently flushed down the toilet . He followed me home to Rutherford to face a family medical crisis. He encouraged "mental health days" for his teachers believing that if you are not right with yourself you will not be right in the classroom. I still have a gold chain he gave me when I left Paramus to move to CT. I have thought of him often and will always keep his memory close to my heart, Rest in Peace my dear friend. I am sure God will have you on the stage of Heaven.

03/27/23 09:00 AM #5    

Thomas W Jeffs (1963)

Mr. Emil Sanzari was literally one-of-a-kind. He was the exact opposite of Mrs. Romney who'd turned me off so effecively in junior English that I sat in her classroom but refused to participate in anything; classwork, homework, even tests and quizzes. Naturally she flunked me which caused me to meet Mr Sanzari in summer school English.

He assigned us one time to pick a poem to write a paper on it. I picked the Pit and the Pendulum and he picked me to deliver my paper to the class while he sat quietly in the back of the room. I zoned out and when I reached the end, he complimented me and told me I'd held the entire class spell-bound for 30 minutes and my neck somehow survived the whiplash as I turned to the clock amazed that 30 minutes had transpired.

Somehow I magically was assigned to his senior English class and he had a policy of one whole marking period was for groups of us to put on a play complete with scripts, etc with the Principal as his guest,. Somehow I was magically assigned to lead a group. I enterred the auditorium from the back smoking a cigarette and presented Mr. SanzarI with our script while the Ass't Principal sat next to him in awe of my chutzpah while I went on stage to join my group.

Our group play lasted only 20 minutes of the 45 minute class period so I knew I'd have to join another group to not get an "F" for that entire marking period. I joined a group where I played a sailor who sang the Pinefore song but, being me I had someone draw a picture of a naked girl on my bare chest for the song. When the play was over Mr Sanzari critiqued the group and complimented me during the other groups commentary saying I'd really gotten into my sailor role with the naked girl 'tattooed' on my chest.

One more time, MR. SANZARI WAS ONE-OF-A-KIND ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Rest in Peace Sir as you direct the theater up there in heaven ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 

03/27/23 03:00 PM #6    

Rosanne Pasqueretta (Manning) (1972)

Mr Sanzari was definitely " tuned in"!  He was my teacher for senior year Drama Class.  He taught me so many things but most of all how to get in touch with my feelings and express them on stage. His class was the best and so was he!

We are all better for knowing and learning from you. Rest in peace! 
Rosanne Pasqueretta Manning '72


03/27/23 05:13 PM #7    

Linda LoPresti (1967)

Mr. Sanzari was one of my favorite teachers at Paramus High.  When he introduced Macbeth, he actually performed the first act with the three hags.  It was fabulous!  He made studying Shakespeare great fun!  I still enjoy section 2 of the New York Times and finding the Ninas in the Hirschfield drawings!

04/19/23 07:43 PM #8    

Eric Fettmann (1971)

I'm sorry to say I was never in Mr. Sanzari's class -- except for one day when (as he did every year) Mr. Boyce had him come in and perform Mark Antony's funeral oration from "Julius Caesar," with the entire class as the Roman crowd. A one-of-a-kind experience. 

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