Nicholas Sassano August 30, 1928 – July 5, 2019


Nicholas Sassano August 30, 1928 – July 5, 2019


Nick Sassano
Nick Sassano

Nicholas “Nick” Sassano passed away peacefully on July 5, 2019, at RiverStone Hospice, after suffering a series of strokes. Nick lived independently and on his own terms for more than 90 years until his recent hospitalization and transfer to RiverStone. Nick was born in Billing son Aug. 30, 1928. He was one of seven children born to Louis and Archangela Lombardozzi Sassano, Italian immigrants from San Marco, Italy. Nick is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Mike and Tony Sassano; and, three sisters, Michelina Sassano, Mary Schwend, and Columbia Meinhardt. He is survived by his brother, Father Rock Sassano of Beaverton, Oregon, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Nick graduated from Saint Patrick’s High School as one of the school’s first graduates in 1947. Nick described his high school experience as like “being part of one big family.” He was a member of the National Honor Society and the Quill and Scroll, as well as the staff artist for the school newspaper.

Nick lived the majority of his life in Billings that included a long career in banking at US Bank, where he was beloved by both his colleagues and his banking clients. He treated everyone with special care and consideration and “went the extra mile” for his clients, especially those who were elderly and needing more of his time and guidance.

Nick was also a talented artist and gifted musician. He received little to no formal training in art or music and appeared to have these special talents as “a gift from God at an early age.” Nick mastered the art of oil painting, watercolor, charcoal sketching, sculpture, and restorative art and conservation techniques. He was a master at the piano and organ, and dedicated years of his life to providing beautiful music at church services, wedding, funerals and public events in Billings. Nick was also a forerunner when it came to public art. He could create a phenomenal Christmas decoration for a large storefront and design and build a prize-winning float for a holiday parade without hesitation.

Nick was known as a man of incredible kindness and gentle spirit throughout his life. No matter what challenges he faced in life, he responded with grace and dignity. During his lifetime, he provided love and support to his extended family and many friends. He is described by one of his nieces, “Nick was not only family but a friend and a confidant. He didn’t judge and was always supportive of me. He always greeted me with a smile and a warm hug and he welcomed my family into his home and his life. I always loved visiting Nick. We talked about his life and our family history, food, art, music, and cooking. He made us laugh! He was kind and generous and had a beautiful spirit and we will miss him.” A lifelong friend described him, “Nick was such a good friend for more years than I can remember. When we visited Billings, he was always our first stop! He would greet us with some Italian lingo that he said meant ‘nice to see you little scamp or devil’. He was my connection to my family’s Italian past. There was always the scent of Nick’s special pizza baking, a bowl of chocolates on the coffee table, and cheese treats for my dog.” Nick will be remembered for his warmth and generosity by all of his family and friends who were lucky enough to know him.

Nick’s family would like to thank the medical and support staff at the Billings Clinic Hospital, Saint Johns United, and RiverStone Health Hospice for their compassionate care of Nick during the final three weeks of his life, especially Thomas Brockhoft, MD and Jonathan Bui, MD.

A funeral service and celebration of Nick’s life is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, July 15, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., in Billings, followed by a burial service at Mountview Cemetery, where Nick will be buried next to his mother. Memorials in Nick’s name are suggested to the RiverStone Health Hospice House at 2230 Mission Way, Billings, MT 59102.

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4 thoughts on “Nicholas Sassano August 30, 1928 – July 5, 2019”

  1. Sister Dolores Brinkel, SCL

    In gratitude for Nick’s abundant service to and love for others. My prayers for all who rejoice in his glory. Sister Dolores Brinkel.

  2. Cleo Zickefoose

    About two months ago I called Nick and we yakked and laughed for almost an hour. I worked with Nick at Midland Bank from 1967 to about ’73. He was a true caring kind gentlemen. At one Bank party/picnic we danced the hat dance until we were weak in the knees. Just kept on dancing and laughing. We feel blessed to have known him! .

  3. Shirley I. Baker

    I celebrate a Life Well Lived by my dear friend, Nick Sassano today. I will miss his cheery voice and warm chuckle as we relived so many happy memories shared among friends long gone, who he is now meeting again. Nick, Elizabeth Rowan, and I visited Italy together in 1983. What a thrill it was to share his first visit to the land from which his parents immigraed to the United States with him. He was a true gentleman of the old school who humored the vicissitudes of his many friends with appreciation and a twinkle in is eye. Nick taught Elizabeth and me the basics of oil painting two cold winters when everyone in Billings stayed in their warm homes. When we had made a mistake we were sure was fatal, Nick would appear with his paint brush in hand, and with a few deft strokes, put things right again. He was tall, dark, and handsome, had impeccable manners, and I always thought he looked like he had stepped right out of some famous Italian painting. We were friends for well over 45 years even years after I returned to Denver in 1971. I last spoke with him at Easter time. We both were thankful for the blessings of sharing long lives with loving families, warm friends, and all the joys of living in our own homes still, with things of beauty surrounding us.
    How fortunate I was to call you “FRIEND” dear Nick! Love always, SHIRLEY

  4. Sherri Schieno Rogerson

    I loved visiting Nick at his home. He had so much history there that said who he was. What a wonderful man. It’s an honor to say he was part of my family. I enjoyed doing his family history, looking at all the photos and hearing his stories. He’s going to be missed…. for now.

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